Or so the saying goes, in this case the judges are the selectors for the upcoming European Championships in Budapest. My task during this first part of the season was to gain automatic selection by meeting the criteria set by the British team of top 35 in the World Ranking list. Having done really well to get to the top 40 mark with 1 tournament left before Deadline day, it turned out I actually only needed to win 1 fight in the Grand Prix in Turkey this past weekend………easier said than done.
They say when two athletes are matched technically and physically, the one with the better mental attitude wins and this occasion this wasn’t me. I had a few chances and came agonisingly close to securing a hold down score (1 second away) in the dying seconds of the match which would have put me through, but in all honesty this was against the run of play against a strong and talented former Junior World Champion from Ukraine. For some reason I felt really flat in the fight, but no excuses he just had the more attacking mentality and this is something I will be addressing in the coming weeks regardless of whether I will representing GBR at the Europeans or not. My fate is in the hands of the selectors, I am the highest ranked player from GB in the 90kg category and with 2 world cup medals (1 Gold) a 5th and a 7th place all in the last 6 months I hope will be enough to convince that I am ready to step up on the big stage but we will see.
I have to say it was an amazing experience seeing some great performances turned in by some of the other British players and we won three medals (1 Gold, and 2 Bronzes) in a high level tournament. Sally Conway in the 70kg category was fantastic and showed great feet and devastating armlocks throughout the day. It shows what we can do as a nation and I hope one day I can emulate that kind of performance.
I would like to thank UEL for supporting me throughout the qualification process and a special thank you to Matt Tansley, who has been fantastic in helping me out this year I hope I can repay all his hard work with some good results in the future. But for now I am on the last long flight for a couple of weeks at least and will be taking the time to lick my wounds and address any training issues I can. Oh yeah, I almost forgot assignment hand in is looming too, time to hit the library when I get back I think.