Super silver in Mexico earns World Championship qualification for Team Bath judoka Ben Fletcher

19 June 2017

Team Bath judoka Ben Fletcher achieved the qualifying standard for this year’s World Championships by recording his best Grand Prix result to date – a silver medal in Cancun, Mexico.

The Rio 2016 Olympian was in fantastic form in the men’s -100kg category on Sunday, beating LA Smith III of the United States by two waza-ari scores before overcoming Cuba’s Andy Granda after forcing a third Shido penalty in the golden-score period.

Fletcher – an ambassador for Team Bath partners MJ Church – then faced former World silver-medallist Jose Armenteros in a close-fought semi-final, the Cuban being forced to tap out after picking up an injury when he was thrown for waza-ari.

That result saw Fletcher achieve the qualification standard for the World Championships and also secured his place in the final against Israel’s Peter Paltchik. Both fighters went on the attack in an excellent contest but it was Paltchik who took the win late on.

Juergen Klinger, High Performance Coach at the University of Bath, said: “It was a great result by Ben to win the silver medal, I’m very happy with his performances.

“Our main target this weekend was to get that World Championships qualification wrapped up and that is what I am most pleased about. Now we can take a step back, relax and focus on being as well prepared for that as possible.”

Fletcher’s medal was one of nine won by GB Judo at the Cancun Grand Prix, making them the most successful nation.

Elite Performance Coach Kate Howey MBE, a former Team Bath judoka and University of Bath Hall of Fame for Sport inductee, was pleased with the performance ahead of the World Championships in Hungary.

“Overall we have had a good tournament and have come away with nine medals which is pretty impressive from a Grand Prix,” said the double Olympic medallist. “We now have to get back into training and finish preparation for the World Championships at the end of August.”

Click here to find out more about the judo programme at Team Bath.

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