TEENAGER Charlotte Emery is aiming for the top of the judo world after being called up to the Great Britain junior squad for the first time.
The 16-year-old, who lives in Hilperton and is coached by Jason Parsons at Devizes Budo Club, announced herself by winning a bronze medal in the U52kg category at the British Junior (U21) Championships in Sheffield earlier this month.
That triumph came just five days after the St Augustine’s Catholic College pupil, who also trains alongside senior internationals under Juergen Klinger at the University of Bath, failed to reach the podium at the British Cadet Championships.
But her medal-winning performance against competitors up to five years her senior led to further good news at the end of last week.
“When I found out, I was absolutely ecstatic and I don’t think I’ve ever been so buzzing in my life,” said Emery.
“Everyone who did well at the junior championships had the chance to get called up and I won a medal and I’m only 16, that’s why I’ve been called up.
“I didn’t do very well at all at the cadets but there was a lot less pressure at the juniors because I wasn’t expected to do well.
“I tried to learn from everything that went wrong at the cadets and I was a lot more relaxed too.
“My judo is just going up and up at the moment and I feel really passionate about it. I’ve always aimed as high as possible because there’s no point in doing sport if you don’t.”
Dad Mark, also a coach at the Devizes club, said: “She’s been a member of the England elite talent programme for about 18 months but how well she did at the juniors was a surprise because she didn’t have a good tournament at the cadet championships.”
Emery’s first training session with the Great Britain Juniors is in Kendal, Cumbria, early next month.
At the South Coast Green Belt & Under event at Worthing, Corsham’s Isobel McKay, 10, won bronze in the U36 kgs. She is also a member of the Devizes club.