3rd August


Japan Tour Prepares for Judo Games. Paralympic gold medallist Chris Hunt Skelley MBE has returned (to Wiltshire/UK) from a five-week training tour of Japan. This as he continues his preparation for the European Championships and IBSA World Games next month – August 18 to 27 2023.

This intense training has also helped the Tokyo 2020 gold medallist to prepare for qualification to compete in the next Paralympics in Paris next year.

Chris said: ‘The camp was about building up to the championships and world games, to take it up to the next level and making sure we were in the best possible shape we can be.’

Judo Champion

Chris, who is the current 100kg Judo Paralympic gold medallist, was one of several athletes taking part in training camps in Japan. All organised by British Judo.

Japan Tour Prepares for Judo Games - Chris Hunt Skelley MBE during his fighting tour of Japan with fellow fighters.
Japan Tour Prepares for Judo Games
Chris Hunt Skelley MBE during his fighting tour of Japan with fellow fighters.

‘Japan is the home of Judo, it’s a fantastic place to go to,’ he said. ‘You come across different athletes, of different shapes and sizes, and different abilities. They are amazing fighters so it is top-class work and hard as well.

As Judo is one of the main sports in Japan, it meant we could go to so many different universities and fight. They don’t use their strength so much, but they are very technical fighters. It was worthwhile going out there to improve my own performance and to be smarter when competing.’

For the first two weeks, Chris and his group stayed at the International Budo University, in Katssura, Chiba Prefecture. They then moved to central Tokyo for three weeks. There they visited several universities, including Nichidai (Nihon University) and Meiji University.

The trip wasn’t all about fighting though. Chris was able to spend some quality time exploring this fascinating country. ‘It’s the most downtime we’ve had since I’ve been going out there to train. We got to visit temples, the centre of Tokyo, a fish market and lots of cool places.’

And far from taking a few weeks to relax, Chris is brimming with confidence and is eager to get going in Birmingham. ‘It’s very much a case of my coach having to hold me back!’

World games

The IBSA World Games is the largest high-level international event for athletes with visual impairment. It has more than 1,250 competitors from seventy nations. It will take place from 18-27 August 2023, at the University of Birmingham.

See Chris in action here:

Born Again Swindonian Logo

Sign up to receive awesome Swindon content in your inbox, every week.