Paralympic silver medallist Ingram returns to Brazil going for gold

Ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games a Paralympic silver medallist and a Junior World Champion will be in action at the 2014 Visually Impaired Brazil International and Training Camp next week.

A team of four British Judo’s Visually Impaired athletes will be fighting in Sao Paulo from Tuesday 15 April until 22 April 2014, hoping to build upon the success of their last medal haul in Germany.

This was the medal that set Ingram on his journey to Paralympic success and he is looking forward to going back and hopefully getting gold this time, ahead of the Games in nearby Rio.

“I am looking forward to this competition as it is the first significant international medal I gained and I am looking forward to doing one better.

Paralympic silver medallist Sam Ingram (-90kg) of Ratho Edinburgh will be back in action at the same venue that he took silver in the World Championships in 2007.The South American competition, organised by the Brazilian Confederation of Sports for the Visually Impaired, takes place on the Saturday and the rest of the trip will be spent training with the Brazilian team.

“I am the only one from London 2012 going but it is a new team and I am looking forward to the journey,” said Ingram who is also the current senior European VI Champion.

He is joined by Centre of Excellence athletes (-100kg) Chris Skelley of Haltemprice and Jono Drane (-73kg) who will also be hoping to build on their recent bronze success at the VI Open in Germany.

Gavin Towers (-81kg) of Kendal, who also took a bronze at that tournment.

VI Junior World Champion Skelley said: “It is a great week for us guys I am really looking forward to it, it is the trip of a lifetime almost. “I’ve never been to Brazil before so I’m looking forward to seeing Sao Paulo ahead of the Paralympics too, which will be held in Rio.”

Towers, who came seventh at the European Championships, added:

“In Germany we had a strong competition against Europeans and now we get to fight the South Americans too.”

The team will be led by Ian Johns, a former GB international who is looking forward to accompanying the group abroad on his first VI event.

Ian said: “I am really excited about the opportunity.

“These guys have already done all the hard work and earned their place so they don’t need luck as they are all very experienced. It will be great to go to Brazil, while it is not Rio it is close.“

Words by Donna Richardson.