Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Burton in Tears amid Fears His Games Career Is Over

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Burton in Tears amid Fears His Games Career Is Over

Article excerpt

Byline: David Smith

[bar] RITISH judo medal hope Euan Burton today tearfully admitted his Olympic career was almost certainly over after he was beaten in his first contest of the Games.

Burton, who had received a bye into the second round of the under 81kg category, had been expected to impose himself upon Antoine Valois-Fortier, even though his Canadian rival is a three-time Pan-American Games medallist and had scored a shock victory over reigning Olympic champion Elnur Mammadli of Azerbaijan in their opening fight.

However, the 33-year-old two-time World Championship bronze medallist, born in Ascot but now living in Edinburgh, was stopped with an ippon from Valois-Fortier which stunned the home crowd packed inside the ExCel.

Burton, seventh in Beijing, was the first non-Asian to win the coveted Tokyo Grand Slam in 2010 and hopes were high he would become the first British male to medal in the Olympics since Ray Stevens in 1992.

But afterwards he conceded he would be unlikely to make the 2016 Olympics in Rio. He said: "I don't know if it is the end of my competitive career but it is probably is the end of my Olympic career. I wish I could have done a bit more for the people who have come down to watch. I know I could have done. I know the main reason they came down here was to see me on the top of the rostrum and I'm really sorry to them for that."

Holding his hands to his face, an emotional Burton went on: "The crowd was fantastic, there was a great roar when I came out and I felt like I could dominate the fight. I feel like I've let myself down a bit, I feel like I've let my coaches down, I've let everybody I've ever trained with down. I've let my mum and dad and my brother down.

"I've been working for this for more than a quarter of a century and I'm pretty sure you won't see me in Rio. …

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