JUDO fighter Chris Sherrington, who grew up in St Helens, has described the “fantastic” feeling of standing on the podium as a gold medallist at the Commonwealth Games.
Sherrington, also a Royal Marine, took gold for Scotland on Saturday in the men’s heavyweight 100kg+ event at the Scottish Exhibition Conference Centre, in Glasgow.
Sherrington, representing his country of residence, took Scotland’s sixth gold medal of the Games after beating South African Ruan Snyman in Saturday’s final.
In a dominant performance, the 30-year-old Sherrington threw his opponent for two waza-ari scores and become the second fighter born in the town to claim gold during the Glasgow Games.
“It was absolutely fantastic standing on the podium, that was one of the highlights,” Sherrington told the Star.
“There were some armed forces personnel there to see me and it was great to have them there and my parents watching back in St Helens.
Sherrington made it through to the final after beating Northern Ireland’s Gavin McNeill and then New Zealander Sam Rosser in the semi-final to set up the showdown meeting with the South African.
And the victory makes amends for the disappointment of two years ago when Sherrington, representing Great Britain in the London Olympics was pipped in the second round by Alexander Mikhaylin ina contest which went down to a Golden Score.
“The final was a tough fight and he was a young lad who probably has more talent than I did at his age. It was a fantastic fight and I finished it cleanly,” added Sherrington, who lives in Broxburn, West Lothian with wife Zoe.
“It was just absolutely spectacular and a great way to end the day and it was especially nice to have it so close to where I live.”
Sherrington, who joined the Royal Marines aged 17 served in Iraq, and took up judo nine years ago.
And, after revealing that the sport had helped him through stress and alcohol problems following his military service, the Billinge fighter says it is great to give something back to the sport.
“It’s nice to give something back to judo after what it’s done for me. The sport is a great stress reliever, and even if you do it at club level most issues can be forgotten.
“I may return to the marines now, I’ll be doing as much PR as I can until the end of the Games and then I’ll have a talk with my manager about the future.”