January 2020: Olympic judo hopeful Isaac meets ex-world champ

BRITISH Judo Champion Isaac Hope is keeping his Olympic goal alive after returning from a successful European training camp.

At 13, he has spent two years as a ‘pre-cadet’ on the REDS Programme – Regional England Development Squad.

On turning 14 he will become a ‘cadet’ and following the next British Championships, hopes to be picked for the GB Junior Elite Development Squad (EDS) Programme.

He said: “I have just come back from an International Training Camp in Belgium where I got to meet former World Champion and multiple Olympic medallist Jimmy Predro, from America.

“He was really nice and funny and he had a good sense of humour. His advice helped and it was fun to do the things he was doing.”

The training camp was from Friday to Sunday and Isaac was one of around 20 pre-cadets and more than 20 cadets to make the trip from England.

Isaac said: “We had a session on the Friday, two on the Saturday and then we went for a run on the Sunday before a further judo session.

“I was able to fight people from The Netherlands, German, Belgium and Luxembourg. They always have different styles of fighting and sometimes you can tell where someone is from by how they grip.”

Among his other titles this year, Isaac also picked up the Gold in the Welsh Championships for pre-cadet U55kg.

Isaac, from Oswaldtwistle, is a member of Bredakwai Judo Club based at Accrington Academy where his dad, John, is the coach.

He trains several times a week and normally enters at least one competition every month.

He added: “I just keep trying as hard as I can and if I keep doing my best I can’t go wrong.”