A MEDAL-WINNING summer has earned a top Furness judo player a place in the England team and a number-two ranking in Great Britain.
Teenager Harvey Burns has enjoyed a successive spell of action on the mat in the under-50kg cadet class.
One gold medal, one silver and three bronze in national and international competitions have cemented the Barrow martial artist’s place among the best 15 to 17-year-olds in the country.
His run of competitions started with an unsuccessful event in Germany at the Bremen International Masters Championships.
Fighting for the North West area team, Burns was in a tough group of 48 players from all around the world.
He lost his first fight to the Dutch national champion, who went on to win the next couple of fights, but because he did not make the semi-finals, Burns could not go through the repêchage to fight for bronze.
A three-day training camp followed, where the Furness Academy pupil was lucky enough to train with the Japanese youth squad, and he would not leave a competition without a medal after that in an amazing run.
He claimed bronze in the Northern Ireland Open, in Londonderry, winning two fights on his way through to the semi-finals, where he was defeated. The medal was secured in his next fight, won with an Ippon throw.
Burns represented the North West again in the Bord Nord Cup, at the Viktoria Stadium, Lund, Sweden.
Players travelled from across Europe to compete, and the South Cumbrian star came home with an impressive bronze after four wins and one defeat.
The championship was again followed by three days of training.
There was a silver medal from the Western Area Open at Western Super Mare, where Burns won his first three fights, two by Ippon. One of his wins came against the British number one to put him in the final.
In the gold-medal match, he was dominating in standing but was caught on the ground, getting strangled to lose out.
There was gold, however, at the East Open, at Thetford Sports Centre.
Burns showed great skills to win two fights by Ippon, one throw and one hold-down.
The day after his success, he was selected to train with the Great Britain squad at the Centre of Excellence, in Walsall. It was a tough session with the best players from all the home nations. That was followed by an outing at the Northern Home County’s Open ranking event, at Hatfield, Hertfordshire.
He claimed another medal, winning through to the quarter-finals, before suffering defeat, but then winning his bronze showdown to end with three wins by ippon and one loss.
As well as seeing him ranked as number two in Great Britain, with two events to go this year, Burns’s successes have seen him picked for the England team travelling to fight in the Flanders International Judo Championships, in Lommel, Belgium at the end of the month.
He thanked Furness Academy and Furness Judo Club for their continued support over recent months.