Fighters heading to camp

By Staff Reporter

The best judo exponents in the country will be in Wanganui this month in their hunt for an all-expenses paid trip to Glasgow.

Wanganui Judo Club is playing hosts for three days, starting Friday, February 22, for the first national judo training camp of the year.

About 100 fighters are expected to press their claims for a spot on the Glasgow Commonwealth Games team for 2014.

Judo New Zealand states its first goal is to get as many contenders as possible qualified for the games, then maximising their chances of contributing to the medal haul.

"We are more than a year out from the Games, but already we have six athletes ranked higher than top 50 in the world rankings," said Robert Levy, senior men's national coach.

The first step is preparing a squad for the Oceania Championships in Cairns.

"April's Oceania judo champs is a key stepping stone on the path to Glasgow," said Levy. "In a number of divisions New Zealand has a real depth of talent, with more than one player fully capable of medalling at the 2014 Commonwealth Games."

Athletes such as 2012 Olympian Moira de Villiers will be there, as will a number of New Zealand's other recent World Cup medallists.

The pace at the camp is expected to be ferocious as emerging talents go toe-to-toe with the established competitors.

Training is at Springvale Stadium, starting 7pm February 22. It continues February 23 and finishes at 1pm on February 24. The public is welcome to watch.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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