World number one Chris Skelley heads GB judo team for Tokyo Paralympics

The 27-year-old will be joined in Tokyo by Elliot Stewart, Jack Hodgson and Daniel Powell.

Chris Skelley narrowly missed out on bronze at Rio 2016
Chris Skelley narrowly missed out on bronze at Rio 2016

World number one Chris Skelley is among four visually-impaired judoka selected to represent Great Britain at this summer’s Paralympics.

Skelley, the 2017 European champion who narrowly missed out on bronze at Rio 2016, competes in the -100kg category.

The 27-year-old will be joined in Tokyo by Elliot Stewart (-90kg), Jack Hodgson (+100kg) and Daniel Powell (-81kg).

Stewart, a World and European bronze medallist who is currently ranked fourth in the world, makes his Paralympic debut after his sight began to deteriorate in 2016.

The 33-year-old’s father Dennis was a judo bronze medallist at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul.

“It has always been a dream of mine to compete at a Games,” he said in a statement. “I relish the opportunity to represent my country with pride.”

Former world junior champion Hodgson, 24, finished seventh on his Paralympic debut in Brazil five years ago and is reigning European Championship bronze medallist.

World number eight Powell, 30, made his Paralympic debut at London 2012 and returned to judo in 2018 following a five-year absence. His father Terry is a two-time Paralympic bronze medallist.

British Judo Paralympic head coach Ian Johns said in a statement: “The four lads that have qualified have given everything, and more, to try and keep the focus of their training in very uncertain times towards what will be the most talked about Games in history.

“The team are extremely excited and are in their final preparations to go and give their best performances and hopefully come away with some medals or placings.”

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