Judo: Bronze for Euan Burton

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Edinburgh’s Euan Burton returned to form at the start of Olympic year by winning a bronze medal at the World Judo Masters in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Burton beat France’s Axel Clerget in his opening match in the under-81kg event before upstaging 2009 world champion Ivan Nifontov (Russia), who had beaten him in China last month, to reach the semis.

The former European and world bronze medallist then lost to reigning Olympic champion Elnur Mammadli (Azerbaijan).

It is the second year in succession Burton has won bronze at the event and gives him a boost as he builds towards London 2012.

Burton did not have the best of years in 2011 but spent three weeks training and competing in Japan and China last month to provide the foundations for his Olympic assault.

His results in Kazakhstan will push him back into the top ten in the world after his ranking dropped to 14.

The bronze medal brought 160 ranking points in an event that has the highest ranking points of any tournament before the Olympics.