altBRITISH JUDO has announced its senior squad for 2009 as it begins its build-up to the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.


The squad, integrating both the fully sighted and visually impaired players, includes all the medallists at a series of trials held in Sheffield, who secured automatic selection.


Among those watching was Patrick Roux, the Frencmhman appointed in the newly created role of head coach in September.


Britain has not won an Olympic judo medal since Kate Howey claimed the silver at the Sydney Games in 2000.


In the same period, France have won 12 Olympic judo medals, including two gold.


British Judo's interim performance director Margaret Hicks said: “This event provided an extra competitive edge and many weight categories were highly contested - it was interesting to see good performances from some of the players returning from the junior worlds.


“With the focus now on London 2012, the British trials offered an ideal opportunity to look at players who have an ambition to be considered for the new British Judo Performance Institute Programme."


Among those included is former world champion Craig Fallon in the -66kg weight category.


He is joined by world silver medallist Peter Cousins, who showed dominance in the -100kg weight category clinching gold in front of Peter Lomax.


Hicks said: "The trials was an exciting showcase for our new head coach, Patrick Roux, to observe the depth of British talent, from which he has invited players that stood out to him on the day to join the senior squad for further evaluation at forthcoming training sessions”


Following the Trials the medallists also took part in a six-day training camp. 


Roux, who does not officially take up his role until January 2009, said “For me the trials was very interesting to assess the potential of players who could reach the top international level and to see some younger players challenging for places. 


"I was also very pleased also with the response of the players and coaches in the training camp, who were very focused - I am very confident we can all work together to start to improve many things and to achieve future success in London."