Donohue dreaming of judo success at Worlds and beyond
Performance director Nigel Donohue believes the British judo squad are on track for success, as the first-stage selection for the World Championships in Tokyo was announced on Wednesday.
With a second-stage squad being released at the end of July, and a final team being revealed shortly after, the early announcement gives athletes the opportunity to begin their preparation far in advance.
World silver medallist Nekoda Smythe-Davis and Olympic bronze medallist Sally Conway head up a list of eight athletes, which also includes European bronze medallists Lucy Renshall, Gemma Howell, Natalie Powell and Ashley McKenzie.
Donohue is confident the early announcement of such a strong squad will work to maximise their chances at the event which runs between August 25-31.
With the European Games coming up at the end of June as well, Donohue believes there's plenty to look forward to ahead of next year's Olympic Games.
He said: "This is the first time in my years as performance director that we've been in a position to select such a large team at the first stage of selection.
"This means the athletes can now focus solely on their individual preparation for the World Championships in the knowledge they have been selected.
"The selected athletes have enjoyed a great start to the year with medals at Grand Slam and Grand Prix level, and we hope this will continue at the European Games ahead of Tokyo.
"The World Championships will act as great preparation for the team ahead of next year's Olympics as we can become settled in the performance environment.
"The team selected reflects our ambitions to best achieve success at the Tokyo Games."
GB first-stage selection:
Ashley McKenzie (Weight: -60kg; Coach: Preston; Club: Camberley)
Chelsie Giles (Weight: -52kg; Simon Moss; Coventry)
Nekoda Smythe-Davis (-57kg; Crowley; Ealing)
Lucy Renshall (-63kg; Blood; S.K.K)
Sally Conway (-70kg; Cusack; Edinburgh)
Gemma Howell (-70kg; Kelly; Wolverhampton)
Natalie Powell (-78kg; Jones; Irfon)
Sarah Adlington (+78kg; Cusack; Edinburgh)