Preece’s second shot at world glory

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Judo player Steve Preece has set his sights on World Veterans’ Championship glory as he aims to make the most of a precious second chance in the sport he loves.

Having enjoyed a stint within the Great Britain squad, competing in prestigious competitions such as the Dutch and British Opens in the 1980s, Preece gave up on his professional dreams with family commitments taking precedent in his life.

However, fast forward three decades and following a successful 18 months back in the sport, after returning to train at the Kumo Judo Club in North Lopham, in which he was won both the Southend International event and Dutch Masters at Under-100kg, the 50-year-old from Fressingfield, is now preparing to fly out to the Netherlands to take on the world’s best Masters players (over-30) starting on September 23, as he aims to break his way back into national fold.

“I decided to get back into judo about a year and half ago with Howard Oates at the Kumo Judo Club and managed to win a couple of events,” he said.

“It has rekindled my passion for it and it is great to get a second chance.

“I’m targeting a top four finish and a medal (two bronzes on offer) because if I can do that there is a great chance I could be selected for the Great Britain Masters squad.

“It is just great to be back and have another chance to fulfil my dreams and hopefully the gamble will pay off.

“It is also an opportunity for me to inspire my son who has got involved in judo as well, I just want to repay peoples faith in me.”