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Starlet Callum eyes up Tokyo 2020 glory after School success

By Frank Smith

Northern Ireland's rising judo star Callum Nash remains confident he can clinch an Olympic medal in the future after beating some of the UK's best up and coming fighters at the 2016 School Games in Loughborough.

Nash showed his potential this year when he claimed bronze at the European Cup for Cadets in Spain, which temporarily moved him into the world's top 40.

And the 17-year-old from Derry was back on form once again at Loughborough University on Friday night when he won the boys' under-60kg title at the School Games, which sees 1,600 school-age elite athletes compete in 12 current and future Olympic and Paralympic sports over the course of four days.

The Lumen Christi College pupil said: "I was confident I could medal as long as I had the right mindset and I was on it. This is against the top athletes in England, Wales and Scotland so it shows I am where I need to be before competing at bigger events in the future.

"I am striving for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and the 2022 Commonwealth Games. With the training and mindset I have, I can make it and definitely have the potential to medal."

There was also a bronze for Ulster in the girls' hockey as they beat Wales 2-0 in the medal decider, but the boys missed out on a place on the podium following a 2-1 defeat to Scotland.

Ulster girls' captain Holly Taggard (17), from Ballymena, said: "It felt amazing when the whistle went. I was proud to lead the team, it was an amazing honour."

Ulster's boys' cycling team also topped the podium in one of the four disciplines they competed in, claiming the team relay criterium title.

The team consisted of Gortahork's PJ Doogan, Ballycastle's Breandan Flannagan, Letterkenny's Conor Halvey and Donemana's Adam Ward.

The 2016 School Games is supported by a range of partners including the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Sport England, Youth Sport Trust, Department of Health and British Paralympic Association.

The Games took place in Loughborough from September 1-4. Visit www.2016schoolgames.com for more information.

Belfast Telegraph

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