Gainsborough's judoka Jack Hodgson claims silver while on national duty
The 19-year-old, competing in the +100kg category, beat Mike Larsen of the USA and Germany’s Tulga Demirel to medal alongside fellow Rio 2016 hopefuls in Heidelberg on Saturday.
Former Queen Elizabeth’s High School pupil, Hodgson, who suffers from Ushers Syndrome - a rare genetic disorder - remains focused on representing his country at the Paralympic Games in Brazil later this year.
His success in Germany is the latest in a long line of achievements over the past two years which includes a Commonwealth gold medal and IBSA senior bronze and IBSA junior gold.
The Brit grew up on an army base in Northern Ireland and said he took up the sport when given a choice between judo and ballet aged six, trying the latter but settling for the former. Hodgson, a 1st Dan, is also experienced competing on the international stage and has represented the British Judo VI squad in the European Championships and at the Junior Worlds.
Team-mates Chris Skelley made a strong start to 2016 with gold in the -100kg category. The British judoka made a great start as he threw VI Judo legend Antonio Tenorio da Silva (BRA) just four seconds into the contest.
He followed this up with a solid win over Oliver Upmann (GER) before displaying his newaza abilities in final against Oleksandr Pominov (UKR) as he came back from a yuko down to secure the hold down and the win. Evan Molloy (-73kg) took gold in the juniors and fifth in the seniors, Natalie Greenhough (-70kg) claimed silver and there was also an impressive debut for AASE student Connah Anders (-81kg) who just missing out on a chance to fight for bronze.