Willesden judo player sets out Olympic target

PUBLISHED: 17:58 07 December 2011

Lee Shinkin

Lee Shinkin


Lee Shinkin is determined to be part of London 2012 despite gaining only a brief taste of the Olympic atmosphere at this week’s dress rehearsal.

Shinkin’s participation in the judo test event at ExCel Centre, Docklands, was short-lived after going out in the preliminary round of the under-73kg competition to Russia’s Sergey Badriashvili.

The 25-year-old Willesden Judo Club player admitted the draw could have been much kinder, but remains confident of performing sufficiently well at next month’s Team GB trials to secure a place at the Olympics.

He said: “There’s times you need a little bit of luck and I could have done with a few easier bouts to get through those rounds instead of fighting the top boys straight away.

“But of course those are the guys I want to be beating and competing with. It was a good run-out and now I’m looking forward to competing in the trials in January.

“I’m looking to get some big ranking points and hopefully take that gold medal at the trials, which will get me into the Olympics, but that’s not the be-all and end-all because there are still other events.”

Shinkin, the current British number three, will need to overcome Alex Farbon and reigning British champion Daniel Williams if he is to claim that elusive London 2012 spot.

“My weight category is wide open,” Shinkin added. “I’ve beaten Williams so there’s no reason why I can’t do it again. I just need that one good day to fall in the right place and it will all come together.

“I’m more than capable of taking that spot. I’ve got all the physical and judo technical abilities, so it’s up to me to get things right on the day.

“I’m prepared to break the bank to get to London 2012 – I’ve pretty much dedicated my life to the sport in the last few years. There will be no Christmas for me, it will just be training and get on with it.”

One Brent fighter who has been tipped for London 2012 glory is 21-year-old Ashley McKenzie, who is currently in the Far East competing in IJF World Cup events.

And Shinkin believes McKenzie holds all the credentials to win a medal next year, saying: “He’s definitely got the talent. The key for him is to keep injury-free and keep picking up the points and he’ll get that medal.

“I’d love that to happen. He’s a good friend of mine so, after he gets that medal, we can both go out and celebrate.”

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