A judo Giant in the making

Two weekends ago Causeway Judo star Kurtis Ashcroft travelled with the Northern Ireland team to the Olympic Excel Stadium in London to compete in the London International Open.

One of the most prestigious events of the year, the event attracted top competitors from all over the world.

The tournament is a three star ranking event and establishes the current rankings in Great Britain.

Lately Kurtis has fought in no less than four major competitions within Great Britain and has consistently medalled.

At the London event Kurtis fought three fights, winning two by Ippon (TKO) and narrowly losing one by Yuko. This meant the fight went the full distance and he only narrowly lost to an opponent who is a decorated three time British champion.

Three wins earned Kurtis a bronze medal and he now ranks with the cream of Britain, taking third place in an event which attracted well over a thousand competitors.

Kurtis trains at Causeway Judo club regularly and with the Northern Ireland team at various venues across the province. Since taking up judo 13 years ago, Kurtis has lifted many titles and two years ago he cross trained in freestyle wrestling and went on to win the British title in Bolton, England.

In the same year Kurtis lifted the Irish title in wrestling and three different titles in judo.The future is looking very bright for this young athlete, and at 17 years old it looks a promising prospect that he will compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.