Fletcher Siblings Officially Selected to Represent Ireland in Tokyo 2020

Team Ireland has officially selected the Judo team who will be competing at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. For the first time Irish athletes will be competing in both the male and female events, as siblings Megan Fletcher and Ben Fletcher will compete in what is Japan’s national sport. They compete in the Nippon Budokan on the 28 – 29 July 2021.

Judo was one of the sports that saw a significant alteration to the qualification journey. In regular Olympiads the qualification journey is complete in the April prior to the Games, and prior to the postponement of the Games, the Fletchers were working to a pre-determined schedule. The amended qualification route involved a restructure of the 2021 season to extend the ranking period to the end of June, as well as including three significant events – the European Championships, Masters and World Championships.

Ben Fletcher is a Rio Olympian, having previously competed for GB, has had a dramatic roll into his second Games. He broke his leg in two places in February. Fortunately, his strong position going into 2020 ensured he held onto his ranking position by the close of the qualification window.

First time Olympian Megan Fletcher fights in the -70kg category and is looking forward to competing in Tokyo after what has been a challenging year,

“Being selected for the Olympics means the absolute worlds to me. I am so proud to have made the Irish team and to be flying the flag at my first Games! It has been such a long road to this point, and I couldn’t be more excited to get over to Tokyo and fight now!

Speaking ahead of the Olympic Games Team Ireland Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, Tricia Heberle, said,

"I am pleased to welcome Ben and Megan to the team.  They’ve both had challenges to overcome in recent years, but their class and determination has shone through.  Irish Judo is a small community and to qualify both of these athletes is a great achievement. I look forward to seeing them in action in Tokyo.”

Team Ireland Judo Team Leader Ciaran Ward said,

“This is a watershed moment for us in Irish Judo, it’s the first time we have qualified two athletes since global qualification started. It’s a generation since we had this size of a team and it’s the first time we have had both men and women represented at the Olympics, so it’s a first for Irish Judo, and we are very proud of both of them.

“Judo is the national sport in Japan, and is the sport that produces most medals for them normally at the Olympic Games. They are the benchmark that we all try to achieve. Usually in Japan there’s a full stadium of spectators who all know their sport, which will be different this time around.”


Megan Fletcher (Women’s -70kg)

Ben Fletcher (Men’s -100kg)

This was the final team announcement for Team Ireland, with the overall number of athletes consisting of 116 athletes, as well as an additional 11 ‘P’ athletes or reserves. The Olympic Games in Tokyo will run from the 23rd July to 8th August 2021. Throughout the Games the results, schedules and updates will be issued twice daily by Wilson Hartnell, who will be operating in Irish time.

More about the athletes:  


Megan Fletcher:

Age: 31 (02/08/1989)

Hometown: Wokingham, Berkshire

Club: Pinewood Judo Club

Coach: Ciarán Ward & Jurgen Klinger 2021

World Ranking: 20 2021

Olympic Ranking: 14

Details: Megan is only the second Irish women to represent Ireland in Olympic judo after Lisa Kearney (2012). This June she fought for a bronze medal at the World Championships in Hungary, the highest level ever by an Irish judoka. Her mother Alma is from Bruff, Co Limerick and Meg first competed for Ireland in 2017, winning a bronze medal at the European Open in Belgrade. She had previously won bronze at the European Cadet Championship in 2005. In 2019 she made the podium at the Marrakech, Tel Aviv and Montreal Grand Prix and was seventh at the European Games in Minsk. She usually trains at Bath University but Covid forced her to train, with her brother, at their home club in Wokingham, west of London and at the Sports Institute of Northern Ireland. Megan took a break from teaching geography in the past few years to train fulltime for Tokyo

Ben Fletcher:

Age: 29 (DOB 13/03/1992)

Hometown: Wokingham, Berkshire

Club: Pinewood Judo Club

Coach: Jurgen Klinger & Ciarán Ward

2021 World Ranking: 21

2021 Olympic Ranking: 15


Ben, who is Megan’s younger brother, is a former world junior bronze medallist. The multiple Grand Slam and Grand Prix winner, whose mother Alma is from Bruff, Co Limerick, has represented Ireland since 2017. He started 2018 by winning gold at the Tunis Grand Prix, the first Irish judoka to ever win an IJF World Tour event. In 2018 he won silver at the Dusseldorf Grand Slam and bronze at the Antalya Grand Prix. In 2019 he had three top three Grand Prix finishes (Tel Aviv, Marrakech and Hohhot) and won bronze at the Grand Slam in Baku. In February 2021 he broke his leg in two places in competition in Israel yet has managed to return in time for his second Olympic Games. He competed for Great Britain in Rio where he finished 17th.






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