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Commonwealth Games 2002
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Judo Thursday, 20 June, 2002, 10:08 GMT 11:08 UK
Women to watch in judo
Kate Howey (right) in action last year
Kate Howey makes it to Manchester after a difficult year
BBC Sport Online looks at the women set for success at Manchester 2002.


Maria Pekli (AUS)

Maria Pekli in action at the Olympics
Pekli has good international pedigree
Maria Pekli, competing in the under 57kg category, leads Australia's judo hopes at Manchester.

The Olympic bronze medallist has a long and distinguished career, having finished in the top five at the World Championships as far back as 1993.

Pekli holds the dubious honour of having represented two countries at the Olympics, Hungary and Australia.

She competed under the Hungarian flag at the Atlanta Games in 1996, but marriage to an Australian led to adopting the green and gold colours of 'Down Under' for Sydney 2000.


Karen Roberts (ENG)

Competing in the under 63kg category, Karen Roberts has proved herself as a major contender on the women's judo circuit.

Roberts shot to stardom in 10 years ago with gold at the Junior World Championships and became Britain's 1992 Young Sportswoman of the year.

Since then, the 25-year-old has won medals at various levels, but the pinnacle of her success came in 1999 with a bronze in the World Championships.

Roberts went on to represent Britain at the Olympic Games in Sydney and, although she missed out on a medal, will be tipped for success in Manchester.


Other contenders

England and Scotland look likely to split the medals in the women's judo at Manchester with both nations boasting some prominent contenders.

In the lightest category, -48kg, Scotland's Donna Robertson could be one to watch, while Georgina Singleton of England is a strong medal hope at -52kg level.

Young English star Sophie Cox might give Maria Pekli a run for her money in the under 57kg division.

In the -63kg category, Canada's Sophie Roberge will be seeking to break up the Anglo-Scottish domination.

Elsewhere, Scotland's Mandy Costello could present a challenge in the -70kg division.

England's Michelle Rogers will be a prime contender for the -78kg title, while compatriot Simone Callender is likely to cause a stir in the 78+kg category.


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