Judo: Allan sets sights on world title

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IN A team studded with current and former world champions, the European featherweight champion Deborah Allan can almost be overlooked, writes Philip Nicksan. But she travels to the German Open this weekend as the fighter widely tipped to have the best chance to take a top title at next month's World Championships in Birmingham.

For Allan, unbeaten since winning the European title in May, this event in Bonn is mainly preparation for Birmingham. "I don't want to feel I have peaked too early if I win, but no one wants to lose," she says. "It is my chance to get down to fighting weight and prepare for the big day."

For the reigning world middleweight champion, Kate Howey, just back after a knee operation, Germany has come at just the right time. "It will show me just how close I am getting to my top form," she says.

Medals this weekend are more important for the men's team. Not since 1987 have the British men won world medals, and if they can't score in Germany, the omens are not good for Birmingham. The lightweight Danny Kingston and light-middleweight Graeme Randall offer the best chances this weekend.

GB team, Digest, page 25