JUDO: Road to Rio

This Is Wiltshire: Tom Reed Tom Reed

DEVIZES judoka Tom Reed believes this month’s World Team Championships in Brazil will provide the perfect acid test as his new season gets under way.

The 26-year-old is Great Britain’s male U81kg representative for the championships, which take place in Salvador on October 27-28 and will be his first taste of competitive action following a summer break.

Bath-based Reed is already working towards securing his Olympic dream at Rio 2016 but says the pressure will be off in Brazil this month.

“I’ve had two months off while the Olympics had been on so this will definitely be a good first competition to come back to and see where I’m at,” he said.

“It’s a big tournament but there aren’t any individual ranking points to pick up, so even though you’ll still want to win because you’re representing your country, there won’t be too much pressure.

“Sometimes at individual competitions, you can fly out somewhere and if you lose your first fight, it’s all over for you but there’s a pool stage at this one so at least we’re definitely going to get the chance to have three or four matches.

“I think that after London, a lot of people feel a bit lost and empty but for me, I like to get straight on to the next goal. This tournament and the next Olympics being in Brazil can’t be a bad thing.’’

Last weekend, Reed had reason to celebrate after getting engaged to his girlfriend Erica and reckons he kept his cool during his proposal.

He added: “We’d spoke about it a little bit before and it was still a bit nerve-wracking but I was sure that she’d say yes, which she did.

“It’s something different in my life to think about too. I’m really happy.”

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