Brazil select formidable judo quartet to compete at the GB World Cup
Thursday, 08 September 2011
September 8 - Brazil has selected a formidable four-strong judo team to compete in Britain next month for the GB World Cup as they step up their preparations for the London 2012 Olympics.
The competition is British Judo's flagship event and an International Judo Federation (IJF) competition, as well as being the biggest event in the UK ahead of London 2012, which explains why Brazil are sending such a strong team, who are gearing up for their own home Games at Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
The Brazilian team will be led by 30-year-old Leandro Cunha - the 2010 and 2011 World Championships silver medallist - who will compete in the -66kg category where he could come up against the likes of British stars Colin Oates and Craig Fallon.
Athens 2004 Olympic bronze medallist and six-time Pan American Championships winner Flávio Canto (pictured) will take to the -81kg category and could unleash his world-renowned ne-waza skills on a field including the British quartet of Tom Reed, Tom Davis, Adam Bick and David Groom.
Hugo Pessanha - the highly regarded -90kg judoka from Brazil - will also be looking to continue his rich vein of form this year having been on target with bronze medals at the IJF Grand Slam's in Moscow and Rio de Janeiro.
The three-time Pan American Championships winner - who took gold at the GB World Cup in 2009 - could meet Britain's quartet of Winston Gordon, Matthew Purssey, Michael Horley and Andy Burns.
Completing the hugely talented Brazilian selection is Leonardo Leite - a seven-time Pan American Championships medallist - who will take to the -100kg category, where he could clash with British selections James Austin and Joshua Butler.
Like teammate Canto, Leite is a standout Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) exponent with two BJJ World Championship gold medals to his name.
The competition is due to take place on October 1-2 at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.