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JUDO: Tom's medal aim
DEVIZES judoka Tom Reed has targeted a strong showing at this weekend’s British Open – but accepts winning a place at the London 2012 Olympics remains a long shot.
The 26-year-old will join the entire 28-strong Great Britain Olympic squad for the championships in Crawley, which double as a senior European Cup event.
University of Bath-based Reed is Britain’s number two in the U81kgs category behind two-time world bronze medallist Euan Burton and with only one host nation place per weight section for London, the Wiltshire man is likely to miss out.
But he is determined to make the most of the last pre-Olympic competition on British soil and lay down a marker for the future.
“Realistically, I’m number two at the moment and I’m not expecting that to change after the British Open,’’ he said.
“Even if I won it, I don’t think it would make a difference but it would just be nice to say that in the last tournament here I did my best. I’m looking to carry on another four years. I’ve learned a lot from this Olympic cycle.
“Last year I was fifth and the year before I got silver. I was close to a medal last year, so I’d like to get one this time.’’ Meanwhile, Devizes Budo Club’s Jemima Duxberry is toasting her first ever European Junior Cup medal after topping the podium in Lithuania last weekend.
The 17-year-old, of Green Lane, finished top of the U63kg category in Kaunas.
The victory was a second Cup medal in just seven days for the Great Britain youngster after her third place in Tarvisio, Italy, at the end of last month.
Duxberry made the step up from the U57kg weight category at the start of the year and finally feels settled in her new class.
“When I started, I was worried about going from one of the tallest to being up against a lot of people who were bigger than me but I feel a lot more calm and confident in the weight group now,” she said.
“It was a really good result in Lithuania and it’s bigger than anything I’ve done at cadet level before.”
Duxberry will also test herself at the London British Open, which doubles as a Senior European Cup event, at the K2 centre in Crawley.
With more European Junior Cup events to come alongside AS-level exams at Devizes School, the teenager anticipates a busy summer.
She added: “I’m doing PE and religious studies at AS-level because I’m away on training camps so much and next year, I’ll be moving to Bath College so that I can train at the same time.
“I think I’ll be doing an exam one day and then flying out to compete in Austria the next day. It’s not the life of the average student.”