"Each of the elite players have been set priority targets regarding the Olympic Qualifying events and the GB players will use the European Cups, as a build up to a World Cup or Grand Slam for example. Some players will use the European Cups as a training event often competing at a higher weight, so they do not have to make their weight category on every occasion.
"The main target now is the 2011 World Championships in Paris at the end of August and players have to demonstrate good performances and medals to achieve selection. Therefore the next set of World Cups in Madrid and Lisbon in June, plus the Moscow Grand Slam are important tournaments for players to achieve results in. We expect to close the selection for the World Championships in Paris for a number of weight groups after these competitions.
"In July players will attend the Olympic Training Camps, plus the European Judo Union camps in Spain, Belarus, Germany before completing the final preparation block at the BJPI, ahead of the Worlds. A few players will also compete at the Miami World Cup and participate in their training camp in the first week of July
"Summer time is going to be a very busy time and we are fortunate because now we have got a number of training opportunities at the best level, with the introduction last year of the new EJU initiative (OTC - Going for Gold)."
Margaret Hicks, Performance Director, said: "We have a packed programme for our elite players over the next 3 months leading into the World Championships and we are now raising the bar for selection to this event and importantly for the performances we expect players to achieve over the next year, in order to be considered for the 2012 London Olympic team.
"We have also opened up additional opportunities to a wider group of players with the first set of 'self funded' World Cups being made available in June, at Tallinn and Lisbon. To get approval to compete in these World Cups a player must have won an European Cup medal this year, or in 2010 and also be a member of the current British Squad. This initiative will help intensify competition between the best British players as we enter the final Olympic phase."
photos Janos Schmidt