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Royal Marine judo star eyes Rio Olympics

Royal Marine judo star eyes Rio Olympics
9 March 2016
Royal Marine judo star Chris Sherrington has come out of retirement in a bid to qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio this summer.

Chris, who won gold for Scotland in the 100kg+ men’s judo category at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, initially retired from the sport to focus on his military career but recently discovered he has a chance of qualifying for Rio.

Despite not having competed in judo since the Commonwealth Games, Sherrington took gold at his debut competition last March at the Swiss European Cup, beating all his opponents with an ippon.

“The Swiss Open was a good result for both myself and Royal Navy Judo,” said Chris.

“I’m happy with the way I performed, however this was just the first step of many to qualify for the Rio Olympic Games. I’m hopeful and it’s definitely not too far out of reach to qualify, but it’s a big ask with only three months and three events to do it!”

In the Royal Navy and Royal Marines we are taught to not fear failing as you learn from it and find better ways of doing things

Chris Sherrington

Chris, who donned his Green Beret after receiving his medal in Scotland, will not be funded by British Judo or JudoScotland, but will train at the JudoScotland centre at Ratho and at the Edinburgh Judo Club. 

His nutrition, strength and conditioning programmes are being managed by Jonathan Pain, of Painless Performance in Rosyth.

In order to qualify for Rio, Chris needs to win two medals from the three possible Grand Prix events he has entered. It’s a tall order, but the Marine is up for the challenge.

“There are many moving parts to qualifying for Rio, so for the time being I’m remaining quietly confident,” he said. 

“The future isn’t set and there is still time so I’ll try my very best. Being a Royal Marine Commando, it’s my job to face seemingly impossible tasks and make them happen. As we say in the Marines, no cuff too tough!”

Chris really has a challenge on his hands, as most Judoka try for the full two years and still don't qualify. However his reasons for attempting such a feat are honourable and inspiring.

He added: "In the Royal Navy and Royal Marines we are taught to not fear failing as you learn from it and find better ways of doing things. 

“Many people go through life missing the opportunity to do something great for the fear of failing. I would rather try to qualify for Rio and fail, than never have tried at all.”

Images courtesy of Jeff Holmes.

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