Christopher Skelley kicked off the journey that he hopes will take him all the way to Tokyo 2020 in near perfect style with an impressive gold at the Baku Grand Prix.

Skelley – who only recently recovered from a neck injury – claimed top spot on the -100kg podium with a final victory over Russia’s world No.6 Anatoly Shevchenko by ippon.

The Baku Grand Prix is the first major ranking tournament on the road to Tokyo and the 2020 Paralympics.

And the 25-year-old has added Grand Prix gold to the European title he won in 2017.

It is a great start to the campaign for Skelley, who hails from Kingston upon Hull and ended up fifth on his Paralympic debut at Rio 2016.

Elsewhere, Jack Hodgson narrowly missed out on bronze in the men’s +100kg event against Japan’s World No.10 Kento Masaki, while Natalie Greenhough missed out on a medals in the -70kg category.

(Picture: @BritishJudo)

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