Angmering judo star Peter Vincent hopes to represent Great Britain in the Olympics one day but admits he is not in a hurry just yet.
The 21-year-old moved up to heavyweight category earlier this year and believes the 2020 or even the 2024 Games will be when he is at his peak to qualify.
He is currently ranked seventh in Great Britain but is aiming to be number one by the end of the year. To gain a place at the Olympics, he will have to be ranked inside the top 22 in the world.
He said: “For the Olympics, you almost need to be ready for it two years beforehand. As heavyweights mature later on, maybe 2020 or 2024 is the aim.
“Hopefully in the next few years I’ll start ramping things up and start doing more tournaments and try to get some results. I’ve got quite a long time to go and you still have people going to Olympics who are 34, so I’ve got a fair amount of time.
“I’ll see how things go in World Cups, Grand Slams and Grand Prixs but that will be a lot of travel and expense, so I’ve really got to commit it.
“But I’m not in too much of a rush at the moment. If you’re a lightweight and 21, you’ve really got to go for it as at 26 you’re kind of hitting your peak. As a heavyweight, you have to hold back a bit.
“I’ve got other stuff coming up, so have short-term goals and I’m going to Greece soon, representing Great Britain in the European Championships in traditional judo, which is not Olympic judo and has different rules.”
Vincent, who starts a remote degree in sports and business management in September, has an impressive judo CV and has won medals in competitions all around Europe at junior and senior level. He has been a member of the England squad since 2008 and represented Great Britain at under-20 and under-21 level, until he joined up with the senior squad this year.
Vincent competes for JC Kawaishi Ingelmunster in the Belgian league and trains with several local clubs, including Arun South Coast.
On the move up to heavyweight, he said: “It’s not been too big a step as I’ve been partnered up with seniors at clubs and you can still fight them in competitions.
“I was under-100kg but I was struggling to hold the weight a bit, so I thought as I’m still quite young and growing a bit, I’d increase the weight training and move up. At the moment, I’m looking to get to about 115kg.”
Vincent is also the Sussex team manager and believes the sport is having a revival in the area: “The southern area is still ticking along but I think that’s because we have the inter counties competition.
“No one is going to wake up and think I want to start judo because they won’t know anything about it, so it’s good to see it in the paper and the sport needs a bit more exposure.
“It’s a great sport to be involved in, I’ve met some really nice guys and travel to different countries all over Europe and might not have done that if it wasn’t for judo.”
In his most recent competition, the Venray Open International in Holland at the weekend, Vincent took bronze in a hard-fought over-100kg senior competition.
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