AN OLYMPIC gold is the dream for 13-year-old student, Isaac Hope, after he recently achieved gold and bronze in The Netherlands while representing England.
Isaac trains at Bredakwai Judo Academy in Oswaldtwistle, where his dad John is the coach.
Isaac is in the REDS – Regional England Development Squad and travelled to The Netherlands with 40 other competitors from all over England for the Alkmaars International Open.
He said: “I had about three hours sleep, then went straight into competing in the under 55kg U15s category.
“There were 37 in my category and I won three of my fights, lost one and then won the last, which earned me the bronze.
“On day two, I fought people from Germany, The Netherlands and France. I had five fights and I won them all and I got gold.
“After the last fight, I thought it was only the semi-final and I was coming off the mat when one of the England team came up and congratulated me on winning the gold. I didn’t realise I had won.”
Isaac was straight on the phone to Oswaldtwistle to give his dad the good news.
Hot on the heels of his Dutch success, Isaac entered the Welsh Open with teammates from Bredakwai and, in the under 55k U14s, the bluebelt won again.
He said: “I am a pre-cadet and that is why I am in the REDS England team. When I become a cadet I hope to be selected for the Elite Talent Development squad.
“Judo is all about respect and when I am on the mat I want to win and I do get my game head on, but when off the mat I am relaxed and will be talking to the other competitors and being supportive of them.”