Reid hoping to shine at World Games

Visually impaired Melbourn Judo Club coach talks about wanting to improve at the upcoming World Games

ROYSTON visually impaired judoka Lesley Reid has set her sights on upgrading her World Games bronze to silver or gold – but admits she may need the luck of the draw to do it.

The 49-year-old will head to Turkey next month for her second World Games, having successfully returned from the same venue last year with +70kg bronze to declare.

Reid’s third-place finish came after just three months of training having been a coach at Melbourn Judo Club beforehand, her journey ended by Paralympic champion Yuan Yanping.

And despite declaring the Chinese judoka is still the one to beat, Reid is not shying away as she looks to leave her mark ahead of a potential match up at London 2012.

“Unless someone turns up in Turkey out of the blue there really are just two players that are better than me and they are Yuan and Russia’s Irina Kalyanova,” she said.

“I am hoping to be on Irina’s side of the draw because she got silver last year but I think I can beat her now and reach the final.

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“If I do that then I should face Yuan and although she is very good, I want to show her what I can do and that I can match her as we look ahead to the Paralympics.

“Last year year she just went straight through me like she did to everyone but she didn’t even know I existed last time.

“So this year I am determined to make sure she knows who I am as she is the only one who is really standing in my way of a dream gold at London 2012.”

Reid’s war cry is perfectly timed, with the Paralympics just 500 days away as of April 17, attentions already turning to London’s ExCeL.

And although her career in Great British circles has already been somewhat of a whirlwind after taking competing seriously just last year, she insists she isn’t about to slow down.

“Everything has moved so quickly since I started to compete properly and it has been surreal at times but I have loved every minute of it,” she added.

“And if I can win World Championships bronze after just a few months training then just think what I can do over the next 500 days or so.

“I have started to think about the Paralympics a lot more as it gets closer and I am to really enjoy it, give it my best shot and see what happens, but I think a medal is definitely a possibility.”

? Join fellow Europeans at the London 2012 ‘one year to go’ celebrations at St Pancras International, courtesy of Eurostar. View competition details at Eurostar is the Official International Rail Services Provider to the Games, and also the British, French and Belgian Olympic teams.