DEVIZES teenager Evan Molloy believes his inclusion in Great Britain’s team for the IBSA European Judo Championships is just the beginning as he targets a places at Tokyo’s Paralympics in 2020.

The 18-year-old will be competing in the under 73kg category and is one of seven judoka selected in the GB team for next week’s Championships.

Molloy, who is based at the British Judo Centre of Excellence in Walsall, has tasted success previously after claiming gold at the German Cup in February. 

Despite believing he had a chance for selection, Molloy, who will compete at the University of Wolverhampton Sports Complex next week, was surprised to learn about his inclusion.

“I was told by email and it was amazing because it was a bit of a shock, even though I thought I was in contention,” said Molloy, who will come up against all three medallists from last year’s Rio Paralympics.

“I’m looking forward to competing at that level because all three of the athletes who were on the podium at the Paralympics are from Europe, and I will be competing against them.

“It is going to be a massive challenge for me but it is a good base to see where my judo is, and whether I can compete at this level.

“It’s a chance for me to test myself against the best.”

While the teenager is pleased to be selected, he refuses to set himself a target for the championships, as he feels the competition will be an important learning curve.

With this event being the first of the next Paralympic cycle, the 18-year-old acknowledges he is on the right path to Tokyo 2020.

“Everybody has their own personal targets, mine is to try and do my best. I think it is very important I enjoy it,” added the teenager.

“I don’t want to go out there and put pressure on myself. I want to do well, but enjoy myself too, if I can, without mounting pressure on myself.

“That is one improvement I want to make because putting pressure on yourself means I will not be performing at my best.

“Tokyo is my aim, I’d like to think I am on the right path and this is the beginning of my Paralympic cycle.

“It’s all very exciting but you do have to keep focussed on your main goal."