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Britain's Euan Burton is feeling Olympic buzz

By Peter Scrivener

Euan Burton
Burton won World bronze last September

Britain's Euan Burton is determined to make the most of home advantage when London hosts the Olympic Games in 2012.

The 31-year-old Scot missed out on a medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but returned to form in 2010, winning World and European Championship bronzes.

He told BBC Sport: "The buzz and the hype has definitely started to build for 2012 but I am relaxed about London.

"There is going to be a massive amount of pressure, but it excites me and I would swap all my medals for a gold."

Burton, who hopes to be competing at his second Olympics next year in London, believes his experiences in China will stand him in good stead for his tilt at becoming the first British judo player to win an Olympic medal since Kate Howey's silver at the Sydney 2000 Games.

He continued: "The statistics say that the most medals are won by people at their second or third Games so hopefully that stat rings true for me."

Burton, who is currently ranked fourth in the world in the -81kg division, followed his impressive performances in 2010 with a further bronze at the World Masters in Azerbaijan earlier this month.

Craig Fallon is the player of our generation and he will be a massive threat in London

Euan Burton

"To be on the podium at the Masters, which is an invite-only competition for the top 16 in the world, after a pretty good last 12 months cemented the fact that I am in and around the top places.

"Over the next 18 months, I'm going to try and replicate the pressure I'm going to feel at the Olympics.

"I'm no spring chicken so I don't need to fight week-in, week-out. I am selecting premium events such as the World Championships and European Championships, World Cups and Masters Events.

"I have been on the podium at the Worlds and Europeans but never champion, so they are goals, but I would swap all my other medals for a gold from London," added Burton, who has won two World Championship and three European bronze medals.

He is also confident that Britain's other judoka can step up to the challenge of competing in front of a home crowd in 18 months where Team GB has targeted winning three judo medals.

At the British trials in Sheffield last weekend, 28-year-old Craig Fallon, who was tipped to win a medal at the Beijing Olympics but finished seventh, returned from a self-imposed two-year exile to win the -66kg division.

"Craig is the player of our generation," said Burton.

How to win at judo

"He is a phenomenal athlete and if he has his fight head on and can keep it on for the next 18 months, then he will be a massive threat in London.

"Then you have guys like Ashley McKenzie, who has just won gold at the European Under-23 Championships, and James Millar, who is in the same under-60kg weight division, has started to hit form again.

"In among the women, we have fighters like Karina Bryant, Sarah Clark, with young players coming through - Gemma Gibbons, Sally Conway, Sarah Adlington and Kelly Edwards.

"Gemma Howell is one of the most physically phenomenal athletes I have ever seen and has already proved she can be a world beater with the calibre of fighter she has overcome in the last nine months.

"If these guys can all keep progressing like they have been, then the future can be very big for us."

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see also
Fallon triumphs on judo return
23 Jan 11 |  Judo
Burton beaten in Tokyo last four
13 Dec 10 |  Judo
Burton clinches world judo bronze
10 Sep 10 |  Judo
Bryant and Burton win Euro medals
26 Apr 10 |  Judo
Bischof lands Olympic judo gold
12 Aug 08 |  Judo
Burton and Fallon's guide to judo
23 May 08 |  Judo

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