Potts on a mission after sealing Great Britain squad place

Sam Potts in action. Picture: Mike Varey
Sam Potts in action. Picture: Mike Varey
Gaia Osborne and Serena Vincent with Paul Jones. Picture: Paul Smith

Super Serena smashes all-time record... Gold for Gaia

Have your say

Sam Potts is hoping for an overdue clean bill of health as he prepares to make his mark on the senior stage.

A stunning performance to secure a bronze medal in the British Championships at the end of 2013 propelled him onto the full Great Britain squad.

That positive display came after he fought back from a broken hand he suffered in Japan.

Potts was delighted to be back in time to perform at the championships.

But after sealing his first senior medal, there was more bad luck to come.

The Locks Heath judo player was hit by a bout of glandular fever and severe tonsillitis over Christmas and New Year.

That meant training was halted for six weeks.

But now he’s recovering full strength and looking forward to showing what he can do at senior level.

He said: ‘I’m back in training and so far everything is feeling fine.

‘My main aim for this year – as it’s my first year on the senior squad – is to get a European Cup medal.

‘At the European Cups you can also get ranking points if you medal, so to get a senior medal would be really good for me.’

After ruling the British Championships at under-21 level, with two successive gold medals, Potts felt it was vital he was able to get back on the rostrum, so soon after making the step up to senior competition.

It was a particularly impressive achievement, given the hand injury had made it far from the ideal build up.

Potts said: ‘It was my first senior one, so I was happy with that.

‘I had some good fights against other strong players.

‘Most of the fighters on the podium had medalled at senior international level before.

‘The championships is a strong tournament, with quite a lot of fights.

‘It was a good feeling. That was my aim for the end of last year.

‘From this year I cannot be on the under-21 squad anymore so I had to get on the senior squad.

‘That was my goal and to achieve it was great.’

Potts has certainly had more than his fair share of bad luck in recent months.

After the broken hand almost cost him his place at the British Championships, illness then denied him the chance to build on his fine display.

Potts said: ‘I hadn’t had the best of luck before the championships.

‘I broke my hand in Japan – then I got back to training just in time for the British Championships.

‘At one point I didn’t know if I was going to be able to fight.

‘I’d been in Japan for over three weeks and it was on the last day it happened.

‘In my last fight I threw someone, I caught my hand and bent it backwards, then we both landed on it.

‘Then on Boxing Day I wasn’t feeling great – I thought I had tonsillitis.

‘The doctor gave me some antibiotics but it didn’t help.

‘I had to go to hospital and it turned out I had a severe form of tonsillitis and glandular fever.

‘But I’m back and looking forward to joining up with the senior squad.’