James Austin’s parents encouraged him to try judo in an attempt to harden him up and he went on to become one of the finest players from these shores. He was born in Litchfield but after residing in Scotland for many years, became eligible to represent the nation.
James suffered a first-round exit from the London Olympics in 2012 but the following year won the World Cup in Minsk, the European Cup in Bratislava and came second in the British Championships in Sheffield.
He secured bronze in the Pan American Open in Uruguay in 2014 and was a medal hopeful for the home Commonwealth Games in Glasgow before being ruled out by injury. James studied health psychology at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh and worked with the Mental Health Advocacy Project.