Judo: Adams heads new regime

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The Independent Online
THE blueprint for a new British coaching structure can be seen this weekend, as Neil Adams, the 1981 world champion, leads a group of trainers and a squad to the Tournoi de Paris, the year's first major international.

The system, which follows last year's controversial departure of the entire Olympic coaching squad, is based on a new part-time coaching scheme proposed by the British Judo Association's technical director, Seth Birch.

Adams who was regarded as an outstanding technician in a career which included two Olympic silver medals and six European titles, is a part-time coach, largely responsible for 'technical input'. He is joined by Mark Earle, Ian Freeman, and Danny Kingston.

Birch's cost-cutting plan is that they will look after the men's and women's squad, with Wynn Bolton, a former women's team assistant coach, and teacher of the former world champion, Diane Bell, providing help with the women.

The new structure has been cautiously welcomed by team members. 'Training together has helped to create a team spirit,' Sharon Rendle, the Olympic featherweight bronze winner, said. 'We will have to see at the tournaments whether it will work.'

However, although the season, which culminates in the World Championships in Canada in October, is well under way, the final structure is still not established. Adams and Earle have yet to be informed of the basis of their contract with the BJA.

The Tournoi de Paris, which begins today sees Rendle and Nicola Fairbrother, the Olympic lightweight silver medallist, looking for medals. It also sees the continuation of the battle for the top light-heavyweight place between Kate Howey and Josie Horton.

BRITISH SQUAD (for Tournoi de Paris international, today to 14 Feb): Men: Bantamweight (u60k): J Davies, N Donohue. Featherweight (u65k): J-P Bell. Lightweight (u71k): B Cusack. Light middle-weight (u78k): R Birch. Middleweight (u86k): L Alexander, J Tiernay. Women: Bantamweight (u48k): P Gemmill. Featherweight (u52k): S Rendle. Lightweight (u56k): N Fairbrother. Light middleweight (u61k): D Bell. Middleweight (u66k): C Cowan. Light heavyweight (u72k): J Horton, K Howey.

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