Team England select Team Bath Judo’s Rhys Thompson and alumna Gemma Howell for Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games
It will be a Commonwealth debut for both athletes, with Thompson – who trains in the dojo at the Team Bath Sports Training Village – continuing a breakthrough season that has also seen him make his first Grand Slam and Senior European Championships appearances.
A bronze-medallist at the Sarajevo European Open in February, Thompson is also the reigning British Champion in the -100kg weight category. He is currently competing in the Ulaanbaatar Grand Slam in Mongolia, the first event in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games qualification period.
Double Olympian and current European Champion Howell missed out through injury at Glasgow 2014, the last time judo featured in the Commonwealth Games, and is delighted to finally have chance to wear the Team England judo gi.
“I’m really excited to have my whole family come and watch me,” said Howell, who trained in the Team Bath dojo from 2012-2017 while studying Sports & Exercise Science at the University. “They all had flights to the Tokyo Olympics and had to cancel because of Covid 19. I think this will be an amazing atmosphere with a home crowd.”
Among the three-person coaching team for the England judo squad is Team Bath Head of Judo Adam Hall, who said: “These sorts of opportunities, to be involved with a home Commonwealth Games, don’t come around often so I feel most fortunate to have this chance and look forward to working with the coaches and athletes on delivering a successful home Games.”
Also taking to the judo tatami at the Coventry Arena will be Team Bath’s Gregg Varey, who was named in the Team Wales squad earlier this month.