Katz brothers in Comm Games judo team

John SalvadoAAP
Tokyo Olympian Nathan Katz will make his Commonwealth Games judo debut for Australia in Birmingham
Camera IconTokyo Olympian Nathan Katz will make his Commonwealth Games judo debut for Australia in Birmingham Credit: AP

Judokas Nathan and Josh Katz will continue a proud family tradition when they represent Australia at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

The pair were part of a 12-strong team named Wednesday, with judo returning to the Games program for the fourth time in Birmingham after being omitted four years ago on the Gold Coast.

The Katz brothers will be coached by their father Rob, just as they were at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Their mother Kerrye Katz also represented Australia when judo was a demonstration sport at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

"The goal is to win two gold medals for Australia on the same day of the Commonwealth Games," Josh Katz, who at 24 is the younger of the pair, said.

"Unlike Nathan, I failed to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

"The setback provided me with a huge motivating force to push forward into the next cycle and I've been able to bounce back in 2022 with the best run of international results of my career."

Josh Katz will compete in the 60kg division in Birmingham, while 27-year-old Nathan Katz is in the 66kg division.

The brothers were raised in Sydney but moved to Melbourne earlier this year to further their preparations for the July 28-August 8 Birmingham Games.

The only two members of the 2022 team who also represented Australia at the 2014 Games in Glasgow are Katharina Haecker and Jake Bensted.

German-born Haecker moved full time to Australia last year and will compete in the 63kg class.

"It is incredible to be heading to my second Commonwealth Games, and it is an honour to make history with Jake today," Haecker said.

"I'm proud of my German and Australian heritage, but Australia believed in me and gave me the chance become the athlete that I am today.

"I'm extremely grateful for that and wouldn't want to represent any other country."

Kayhan Ozcicek-Takagi, who was born in Sydney but grew up in Japan, will compete in his first Commonwealth Games for Australia in the 100kg division after taking out citizenship.

Australia's only two Commonwealth judo gold medals were won by Maria Pekli (women's 57kg) and Tom Hill (men's 73kg) at the 2002 Manchester Games.

AUSTRALIAN TEAM

Women:

Aofie Coughlan (70kg), Tinka Easton (52kg), Katharina Haecker (63kg), Abigail Paduch (over 78kg)

Men:

Jake Bensted (73kg), Harrison Cassar (90kg), Josh Katz (60kg), Nathan Katz (66kg), Uros Nikolic (81kg), Kayhan Ozcicek-Takagi (100kg), Liam Park (over 100kg), Sebastian Temesi (90kg).

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