LOCAL 14 year old rising Judo star Stuart McWatt left the Sainsbury’s 2012 British School Games with silverware, but couldn’t help thinking what might have been, after defeat in the final.
The Games were held at the Excel Arena in London, which will host the Olympic Judo competition, and Stuart clearly enjoyed his taste of the Olympic surroundings, winning all three of his pool fights in the -60kg category and then seeing off Scottish team-mate Neil MacDonald to reach the final.
Pupils from across Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland were joined by a guest team from Brazil, and it was 17 year old Brazilian, Luiz Marcos Filho, who had to win the Pan American games to qualify and is considered the best in South America, who Stuart lost out to in the final.
And despite climbing the podium at the London 2012 venue, Stuart admitted he wished he had gone one step higher after his efforts, saying, “I am disappointed with how I fought in the final but I am really pleased to finish up with the silver despite that.
“I made a mistake in the final and it ended pretty quickly but I just wanted to win a medal and I am happy with the silver.
“It is annoying to get all that way and then have the final end so quickly but that is how judo goes some times.
“It is frustrating but now I have to move forward from this and make sure that the mistake was just a one off – I need to learn from this.
“Now I have a few international competitions coming up and it is about making sure this doesn’t happen again and making sure I get the gold.”
Following victory over George Cullum from England in the group stages and then British Champion and fellow Scot Neil Macdonald in the semi-finals Stuart was disappointed to lose quickly to Filho, saying, “the final was over so quickly in the the first minute and was extremely tough but I fought him again in the team event, and though I lost again, I felt I did much better. I was happy to beat George who I lost to in last years British championships and also to get a win over Neil who beat me earlier this year. Its been a great experience and although we couldn’t stay at the Olympic Village as its is still being made ready for the Olympics, competing in the Excel Arena was great.”
Last month Stuart also achieved a fifth place in the European Cup in Fuengirola Spain and is looking forward to a trip to Holland next month where Judo Scotland are taking three coach loads to to compete against Europe’s best. Stuart trains four days per week plus two gym sessions, one running sessions and one gymnastic session.
A fellow Garioch Judo Club member, Helen Forbes achieved a bronze medal at the games in the Womens Under 52 Kilo competition.
The Sainsbury’s 2012 School Games was held at the Olympic Park and other venues from 6-9 May 2012 with school-aged elite athletes competing across 12 sports. Visit www.2012schoolgames.com for more information.