Natalie Powell will be the only top-ranking British judoka to compete this year as a team of Paris 2024 hopefuls was revealed for November's European Championships.

Powell, ranked No.4 in the world at -78kg, will qualify automatically for Tokyo 2020 but has chosen to pursue a fourth continental medal in Prague from 19-21 November.

Schlesinger announces retirement from judo
19/01/2021 AT 12:00

The Welsh star won her first and only competition of 2020 so far, taking a third World Tour title at the Tel Aviv Grand Prix.

"I’ve spoken to Natalie time and time again about this, bless her, because she's a worrier," said head coach Kate Howey.

"She wants to fight regardless of the risk, because she feels ready to fight. Some fighters don't, some fighters do.

"As British Judo, we’ve had to make a decision that we're happy with the risk."

British Judo's Centre of Excellence in Walsall was forced to close on October 13 after a positive COVID-19 test within the training group.

Only one result from the 2020 and 2021 European Championships – set for Lisbon next April – will count towards IJF Olympic rankings, which now close in June 2021.

That has kept the likes of world champion Sally Conway and fellow -70kg fighter Gemma Howell at home with eight debutants featuring in the 18-strong squad.

Britain's leading male judoka Ashley McKenzie, who won European bronze in 2013 and 2018, features in the extra lightweight -60kg division.

The -63kg category is hotly contested among the women with ten Olympic ranking places separating Brits Amy Livesey, Alice Schlesinger, Lucy Renshall and Lubjana Piovesana.

Livesey, who won bronze at the Montreal Grand Slam in a strong finish to 2019, leads the way and can push towards automatic qualification when she joins the draw alongside Schlesinger.

European junior champion Kelly Petersen-Pollard, 21, could be one of the breakout stars having won all but two of her competitions in 2019, debuting at -70kg.

European junior bronze medallist Lachlan Moorhead is among the first-timers at -81kg and Eric Ham appears at his first Europeans having featured at the 2019 World Championships.

Performance director Nigel Donohue said: "This is a really exciting team selection for British Judo.

"It symbolises a return to international competition after an enforced period away and it has given us the opportunity to give some of our Paris 2024 hopefuls the chance to gain valuable international Championship experience both on and off the mat.

"Our primary short-term focus still very much remains on Tokyo, but our two-cycle strategy means we must also divert our attention to Paris 2024 as well."

Sportsbeat 2020

Top 5 from the 2021 Judo World Masters in Doha
14/01/2021 AT 17:07
Powell to make tweaks for Tokyo 2020 after Doha disappointment
14/01/2021 AT 10:37