Team GB call up Team Bath judoka for Baku 2015 European Games

23 April 2015

Team Bath Judo Club trio Ben Fletcher, Megan Fletcher and Gemma Howell have been named in a 153-strong Team GB squad for this summer’s inaugural European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Team GB will compete across 13 sports and 19 disciplines at Baku 2015 as 50 European nations come together for the continent’s first-ever major multi-sport event from June 12-28.

The competition has even more significance for Team Bath’s judoka as it will also double as the sport’s European Championships and is a qualification event for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The European Judo Championships had been scheduled to take place in Glasgow in April but were integrated into the Baku Games after a sponsorship dispute between the European Judo Union and the British Judo Association.

Megan Fletcher, who won U70kg gold at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, said: “There has been a lot of change for us as athletes.

“We had been aiming to peak in April for the Europeans but now we have to do that in June, which is very close to the World Championships in August.

“Luckily we have a really good coach here in Bath in Juergen Klinger. He is very experienced and just sorts everything out.”

University of Bath Sports Performance graduate Gemma Gibbons, who famously won silver in the U78 category at London 2012, is also included in the squad for Baku.

“London 2012 was such a special time, so to be able to compete for Team GB and wear the Olympic Rings again is a huge honour for me,” she said.

“The Games are of increased significance for me because not only do they double up as the European Championships but they also represent an important step on our road to Rio, with the chance to gain ranking points for the Olympic Games next summer.”

Mathematics and Computing graduate Natalia Sheppard will compete in the fencing in Baku.

And Laura Gallagher, who does some of her training at the Sports Training Village, has been named in the trampolining team.

In total, 20 sports make up the programme for the 17 days of action in Baku and over 6,000 athletes are expected in Azerbaijan to compete across the 253 medal events.

Team GB’s Chef de Mission Mark England said: “It’s fantastic to be able to announce the athletes who will be competing for Team GB at Baku 2015. It’s a great opportunity for many of them to test themselves against Europe’s best, gain crucial multi-sport Games experience or build on their road to Rio 2016.

“I’m also delighted to see such a large team from Great Britain heading out to Baku – our largest travelling delegation since the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games – and I’m sure it’ll be a hugely proud moment for each of them.”

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