Walters seals golden success

Ollie Walters, left, picked up gold medal success in Crawley

Ollie Walters, left, picked up gold medal success in Crawley

Former Petersfield boss Ian Saunders Picture: Neil Marshall

Saunders snapped up for Royals in the absence of Rix

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Ollie Walters secured a gold medal at the South of England Open.

The Gosport judo player performed strongly for his biggest victory yet at the K2 Arena, in Crawley.

Walters, 15, who is a green belt, fought in the under-46kg weight category.

It was a tough pool of five as Walters stepped up against some very experienced players from across the south of England.

He won three out of his four contests to take the victory and Gosport coach Sarah Hopkins believes it was a big step forward for Walters.

She said: ‘Now it’s really clicked for Ollie.

‘He lost his first fight in Crawley but once he got up and running he recorded three emphatic wins by 10 points.

‘It was a really good performance.

‘He’s been progressing really well and this was his biggest win so far.

‘Ollie gives everything in his training.

‘All the things we have worked on, he has taken on board.

‘He was fighting against some judo players from some top clubs in Crawley.’

Walters has plenty of good role models to look up to when he’s training in St John’s Church hall.

His coach Hopkins is a multiple world, European and British champion.

Great Britain squad member Sam Potts also returns to his former Gosport base for training, when he has time off from Bath where he now works and trains.

It means the youngsters at the club can learn exactly what it takes to reach lofty heights in the sport.

Hopkins sees in Walters some key qualities.

She added: ‘We’ve taken him on in training like we did with Sam.

‘He’s a mini version of Sam in one respect. Everything we tell him he seems to pick up on.

‘Ollie has a very supportive family and has been working on his fitness.

‘He’s doing well and his gold medal win is great for him and great for the club.’

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