Natalie Powell battles with Kaliema Antomarchi of Cuba at the World Championships in Tokyo last year. Pic: Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images)

Natalie Powell Looking To Czech Mate Her Rivals In Bid For Fourth European Medal

Natalie Powell will be gunning for a fourth European Championships medal in Prague next month.

The Beulah judoka will be part of an 18-strong British team at the Championships in the Czech Republic from 19-21 November.

Powell took bronze at the 2016, 2017 and 2018 European Championships.

And the 30-year-old started this year in golden form with victory at the Tel Aviv Grand Prix before the COVID 19 forced suspension.

Natalie Powell with her gold medal and fellow medallists at the Tel Aviv GP. Pic: Jack Guez-AFP via Getty Images

Powell is looking to edge closer qualifying for Britain in the -78 kg category for the delayed Tokyo Olympics next summer.

Following the IJF’s announcement that only one Continental Championship result from 2020 and 2021 will count towards Olympic qualification, several British Judoka currently vying for Olympic qualification have chosen to miss this year’s Europeans in order to best prepare for 2021.

As such British Judo has taken this opportunity to select a team with Paris 2024 Olympic hopefuls in mind, with the aim of giving them major championship experience whilst still offering those chasing Tokyo Olympic selection the opportunity to return to the competitive international circuit.

Natalie Powell in action for GB in the -78kg category at the World Championships in Tokyo. Pic: Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images

“Our primary short-term focus still very much remains on the Tokyo Games,” British Judo Performance Director Nigel Donohue said.

“But as part of our two cycle strategy, we much also divert our attention to Paris 2024 as well, so this is a really exciting team selection for British Judo.”

British Judo will continue to monitor the Covid-19 rate in Prague and says it will withdraw the team from travelling and competing if it feels the risk to fighters and staff is too great.

 

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