Natalie Powell is set for a busy summer chasing major medals after being picked in the first wave of selections for the British Judo team to go to the World Championships in Tokyo in August.
Wales’ 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medalist will be in Minsk a month earlier at the European Games.
Powell will then use the event in Japan on 25-31 August to build-up towards her shot at Olympic glory in Tokyo next year.
The first eight names selected include current European Championship bronze medallists Lucy Renshall (-63kg), Gemma Howell (-70kg), Ashley McKenzie (-60kg) and Powell (-78kg). Also included are current World Championship silver medallist Nekoda Smythe-Davis (-57kg) and Rio Olympic Games bronze medallist Sally Conway (-70kg).
“This is the first time in my years as Performance Director that we have been in a position to select such a large team at the first stage of selection. What this means for the athletes is they can now focus solely on their individual preparation for the World Championships in the knowledge that they have been selected,” said British Judo Performance Director, Nigel Donohue.
“The selected athletes have enjoyed a great start to the year with medals at Grand Slam and Grand Prix level, and we hope that this will continue at the upcoming European Games in Minsk ahead of Tokyo.
“The Tokyo World Championships will act as great preparation for the British Judo team ahead of next year’s Olympic Games as we can become settled in the performance environment and the team selected reflects our ambitions to best achieve success at the Tokyo Games.”