John Buchanan eyes Games after ten-year exile

John Buchanan, judoka, Broxburn
John Buchanan, judoka, Broxburn
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Broxburn judoka John Buchanan seeks to take another big step towards Glasgow 2014 when he competes in this weekend’s European Cup in Malaga.

Buchanan, who will be 38 next month, won a bronze medal at last month’s European Cup in Sweden, yet before this year he had been away from the mat for over ten years after winning a bronze in the Under-60kg event at the World Championships in Munich in 2001.

But he returned to international competition recently and believes he has a chance of getting to Glasgow 2014.

One of only four Scots to have won a world medal, he will be competing this weekend alongside one of the others, Euan Burton, 34, who has entered the Under-100kg event after winning last month’s European Open in Glasgow and is also out to claim a Games spot.

The pair are in a Great Britain squad of 49 for this weekend’s event in Spain.

“I fought in a European Cup in Slovakia a few weeks ago and another in Serbia, where I felt stronger and fitter than my opponents but just didn’t have that explosive sharpness,” Buchanan explained. “In Sweden, that sharpness returned and it has given me confidence that I could get to the Games.

“There are seven men’s places but that is across all the weight categories and it will depend on rankings and the selection committee.

“Malaga will be my last competition this year and then I’ll be building towards my next events in January/February.”