Burns in mood for his Rio carnival

First published in Sport Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

NATHON Burns competes in the World Judo Team Championships in Brazil tomorrow hoping it is a glimpse in to the future.

The 23-year-old from Blackburn was devastated to miss out on the London Olympics but has sets his sights firmly on Rio in four years time.

And there will be a familiar face in the Great Britain team as fellow former Shadsworth and Beach Judo Club member Andy Burns, who is no relation, has also been selected.

“It is a massive incentive for me,” said Nathon who is now a member of Camberley Judo Club.

“When I was on the plane I was just thinking about Rio and being on this plane in four years time.

“So it did make me think and fire me up.

“It’s a big competition and every country wants the title of world team champions. All the big teams and all the big fighters are here.”

The current British Championships silver medallist competes in the 66kg category – but he has a fight on his hands to take number one spot off Colin Oates who competed at London 2012.

But selection for the first major competition since the Olympic Games is a boost for Burns.

“I know I am not number one because Colin is staying at this weight,” said the former Our Lady and St John’s High School pupil.

“But it is a big boost for me to be selected because it means that my country and association see me as a big fighter and capable of being at these events.

“And it is just going to help me push for that number one spot even more because I want to be on that plane in four years time.”

Nathon’s dad Joe who runs Shadsworth and Beach Judo Club is delighted for both his son and former member Andy who now fights for Team Bath.

He said: “Nathon was very down after missing out on London so this is great for him. And to have Andy in the team as well is superb news for Blackburn.”

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