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Rio 2016: Team GB Martial Arts squad announced

20th July 2016

Rio 2016: Team GB Martial Arts squad announced
With just over two weeks to go, Team GB is finally taking shape for this summer's Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro.

With the opening ceremony on August 5th getting ever-closer, the Team GB squad will be undergoing their final preparations before jetting off to Brazil.

At the previous Olympics in London four years ago, the Martial Arts squad accumulated a total of 9 medals at the games. This year, they've set a target of just 3.

Team GB will be competing in four different Martial Arts disciplines; Boxing, Taekwondo, Judo and Fencing. They did not qualify for the Wrestling this time around.

The Squad:

Boxing

The Team GB Boxing squad was one of the biggest successes of London 2012, with 3 golds, a silver and a bronze. Since the game, four of the male squad have gone on to box professionally, Anthony Joshua, Andrew Selby, Anthony Agogo and Luke Campbell.

This year, a squad of 10 male boxers and two female boxers, including reigning Olympic Champion Nicola Adams will be competing. Adams will be a favourite to retain her status as Olympic Champion.

In the men's team, the big medal hope this year is super-heavyweight Joe Joyce, who is being predicted by some to follow a similar path to Anthony Joshua. Commonwealth Games Middleweight Champion Antony Fowler will also be competing and hoping to add an Olympic medal to his collection.

Judo

The Judo squad were a surprise package four years ago. Pre-games, they had been not been targeted to win a medal, yet came out with a silver and a bronze medal. Both were in the women's categories, with Gemma Gibbons finishing runner up in the -78kg weight division and Karina Bryant finishing third in the +78kg division.

Neither will be competing this time around. Bryant has retired, whilst Gibbons was beaten by team mate Natalie Powell to the one available space in her division. Powell will be the best hopes of a medal in the Judo. Sally Conway is the highest ranked GB Judoka in her respective weight division, whilst the ever-consistent Alice Schlesinger will also be one to watch.

Taekwondo

Like Judo, the Taekwondo squad also exceeded all targets in 2012. Jade Jones was the star of the show as she won Team GB's first ever gold medal in Taekwondo. She will be defending her title in Rio this summer. Lutalo Muhammad will also be hoping to go one step further and improving on the bronze he won in London. Bianca Walkden will be making her Olympic debut this Summer. After missing out through injury in 2012, Walkden has gone on to take gold in the European Championships, making her a favourite at this summer's Olympics.

Fencing

Despite competing every year since 1896, Britain's medal haul in the Fencing is poor. With only 16 in total and none since 1964, there are no realistic hopes of taking a medal this year. Richard Kruse, James Davis and Laurence Halsted will be representing Team GB this summer and hoping to do better than four years ago where nobody progressed past the second round.

When does the Olympics start and how can I watch it?

The opening ceremony takes place on Friday August 5, with the Judo, Fencing and Boxing all kicking off the following day. The Taekwondo takes place later in the tournament, beginning on the 17th.

The BBC will be broadcasting comprehensive coverage of the games, with the red button available to pick and choose between coverage of different events.

How to try a Martial Arts class near you

If you're full of Olympic enthusiasm and want to give Martial Arts a try, then finding a class is easy on Martial Arts Near You.

As well as Judo classes, Taekwondo classes and Boxing classes, there are many other styles available, ranging from Karate classes to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. There are martial arts clubs offering these classes across the UK with highly qualified instructors.

To find a class, visit the website homepage and search using the class finder tool. Here you will be able to choose whether you want a beginner's martial arts class or something more advanced. Once you have found the right class for you, you can either book yourself a place online or leave your contact details for the instructor and they will contact you.
Source: Martial Arts Near You