EUAN’S JUDO HOPES GONE

JUDO

Midweek Sport - - THURSDAY AUG 1 -

EUAN BUR­TON ad­mit­ted he was “gut­ted” for his sup­port­ers af­ter crash­ing out of the Judo, but says he did ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble for a medal.

The Brit, 33, had once been ranked as high as fourth in the un­der­81kg weight division, but last year strug­gled to make an im­pact at ei­ther the Euro­pean or World Cham­pi­onships.

The Ed­in­burgh fighter was still one of Team GB’s lead­ing can­di­dates to end a 12-year wait for an Olympic medal of any colour. How­ever, de­spite the boost of expected sec­ond-round op­po­nent El­nur Mam­madli – the reign­ing Euro­pean cham­pion who won Olympic gold at un­der-73kg in Bei­jing – los­ing his open­ing bout to Cana­dian An­toine Valois-Fortier, Bur­ton soon went the same way. Valois-Fortier again pro­duced the goods when it mat­tered, this time with an ip­pon throw to end Bur­ton’s Olympic dream be­fore it had re­ally be­gun.

Bur­ton, though, in­sisted he was fully pre­pared for the chal­lenge he faced at a packed North Arena 2, full of ex­pec­tant sup­port­ers – in­clud­ing the Scots­man’s fam­ily and friends.

“If I had come off the mat think­ing, ‘You know what, these last cou­ple of years I had not pushed my­self as hard as I pos­si­bly could’, then I prob­a­bly

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