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Judo Thursday, 20 June, 2002, 10:06 GMT 11:06 UK
Men to watch in judo
Graeme Randall in action last year
Graeme Randall is hungry for a medal in Manchester
BBC Sport Online looks at the men's judo stars likely to shine at Manchester 2002.

Graeme Randall

Nacanieli Qerawaqa (FIJ)

Fiji may not be a major power in the world of judo, but Nacanieli Qerawaqa has made sure done more than enough to put his country on the map.

Qerawaqa, known as Takayawa in Fiji, has proved himself as a top contender in the 100+kg and open divisions and will be a strong favourite for success in Manchester.

The popular heavyweight has won a host of medals, including a gold in Oceania 2000 and a second and third in last year's Pacific Rim Championship.

The Fijian is also no stranger to success in the Commonwealth, having grabbed two golds at the championships in 1998 and a bronze two years later.

Winston Gordon (ENG)

Bob Willingham, IJF photographer: Winston Gordon earlier this year
Still a rising star on the judo scene, Winston Gordon will be the one to watch for the under 90kg title at Manchester.

Having started judo at 11 years old, Gordon has progressed through the ranks to become one of the top contenders in the British Isles.

The London-based athlete was an European bronze medallist as a junior before going on to win many medals and titles at senior level.

His achievements include two Swedish Open titles and a gold and silver in the British Open, as well as being the current Commonwealth judo champion, which he won in 2000.

Nicolas Gill (CAN)

In terms of class and consistency, they do not come much better than Nicolas Gill.

The two-time Olympic medallist is undoubtedly one of the greatest internationals all time to come from Canada, having won medals at every possible level over the last 12 years.

At the age of 18, the Canadian won the first of 10 national championships in the -86kg category, but since then has moved up to the -100kg division and has never looked back.

His honours include a silver at Sydney 2000 and a bronze at Barcelona in 1992, as well as three medals at the World Championships over the last decade.

Graeme Randall (SCO)

Graeme Randall at the Olympics
Randall hopes for a return to form
One of the biggest stars on the British judo scene at the moment, Graeme Randall, is sure to cause a stir in the -81kg category at Manchester.

The Edinburgh-based athlete is unbeatable on his day - something he proved when he won the World Championship three years ago.

His victory earned him a place in history as he became the first Scot, and only the second Briton after Neil Adams in 1981, to win the world title.

The 1999 Commonwealth champion has struggled with injuries over the last year, but should be back to full fitness in time for the Manchester Games.

Other contenders

It looks to be a close contest between Scotland and England in the lightweight categories with John Buchanan and Craig Fallon likely to finish high in the -60kg division.

Scotland's David Somerville could face strong competition from south of the border rival James Warren at -66kg, while another Englishman Lee Burrbidge has a good chance at -73kg.

Higher up, Welshman Luke Preston could upset the Anglo-Scottish dominance if he performs well at -81kg, while Keith Morgan of Canada will also be one to watch for the -90kg title.

At heavyweight level, Sam Delahay of England could a be strong outside bet for gold at -100kg and Scotland's Gary Edwards has a solid chance at over 100kg.

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20 Jun 02 | Judo
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