Livesey tops England's Commonwealth Games rankings after remarkable judo comeback (From St Helens Star)
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Livesey tops England's Commonwealth Games rankings after remarkable judo comeback
OWEN Livesey has surpassed his wildest expectations by topping England’s Commonwealth Games ranking list after an incredible return to judo.
Livesey, originally from Haresfinch, picked up two silver medals for Great Britain last month, one in the Uruguay Pan-American Open in Montevideo, and then in the Argentina Pan-American Open in Buenos Aires.
The events were Livesey’s first World Cup events at the -81kg category, putting him top of the Commonwealth ranking list to represent England in Glasgow this summer.
“I’m excited about the Commonwealth Games now. When I first started back I was quite a way behind so I wasn’t expecting it and it wasn’t one of my goals,” he said.
“But now after winning the British Championships and the World Cup silvers, that has put me top of the list so things have really changed.”
The 22-year-old SKK-trained fighter made a sensational comeback after leaving the sport for 18 months, vowing never to return when he was left crestfallen following being left out of selection for London 2012.
Livesey returned to his native St Helens taking up his old hobby of rugby league playing for Pilkington Recs and having a run with the Widnes Vikings academy before regaining his motivation to get back into judo last year.
Having moved back down to train full time in Camberley, Surrey Livesey is fully determined on achieving his ambitions in judo.
And the former Saints junior sensationally marked his return by winning a silver medal in the European Cup in Malaga before taking gold in the British Championships -81kg category in Sheffield last December.
And with Livesey now eligible for the World Cup and world ranking events, earning enough qualifying points to compete in the 2016 Rio Olympics is very much his long-term goal. However, Livesey is for now setting his sights on the more immediate horizon with the European Championships in Montpellier later this month his main focus at the moment, being one of a five-man team to represent Great Britain.
“It’s an important tournament and I am really geared up for it,” says the ex-Haydock Sports College pupil.
Livesey, who is also self-funded, hopes to keep on improving his place in the world rankings to help him towards his eventual Olympic dream.
Information on making donations to help him make other tournaments to help him realise his ambition can be found at: http://www.talentbacker.com/talents/view/owen-livesey.