Fighting fit James Draper has won Judo gold while representing De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) in a national championships.
James Draper with his gold medal
James, from East Grinstead, Sussex, was crowned British champion in the under 66kg category at the tournament which was held in Sheffield over the weekend as part of the British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) Nationals.
BUCS is the governing body for university sport in the United Kingdom.
The MSc student, who is studying a distance learning course in Intelligent Systems and Robotics, beat defending champion Billy Goldsmith, from Anglia Ruskin University, with the shoulder throw known as Ippon Seoi Nage.
James had to win a total of six fights undefeated to claim the gold medal.
His win now earns James the right to represent DMU in the European Universities Games which take place in Portugal in July.
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James said: “This was my third year at the tournament so it felt good to finally win it. I did a lot of training in the build up to the fight so it is great to see that paid off.”
James proudly takes first place on the podium
James stays super fit by training five days a week at three different clubs and eating ‘clean’ for six days a week, which involves avoiding sugar and other processed foods while consuming lean protein, fruit, veg and brown carbs. He then takes Sunday off.
In between his studies James also runs a local Judo club with his dad Tim, who doubles up as his coach.
James added: “My dad was so excited to see me win. He has been my inspiration.”
The champion first took up the martial art when he was five.
James said: “My sister used to do ballet and I went along to watch. I found it a bit boring. They were taking Judo classes next door so I decided to take it up rather than watch the ballet class.”
His Master’s degree in Intelligent Systems and Robotics is taking three to four years to complete by distance learning.
James said: “It is a really interesting course. I have been into robots and robotics since I was very young and it’s exciting to understand how they work.”
James has received support from DMU in the form of a Vice-Chancellor’s Sports Scholarship which has helped towards the cost of kit, travel and training.
In other results, DMU's Joshua Grob was placed 4th in the multi-disability 400m Freestyle swimming, gaining DMU 4 BUCS points. Two of Josh’s finishing times were under the qualifying time to be eligible to compete at the European Championships in the summer, so the wait is on to see if he is selected for the Swiss team.
Posted on Thursday 22nd February 2018