Burton hopes to be an inspiration

19 July 2012 / 15:30

Euan Burton has long been the face of British judo - and the Scottish fighter would love nothing more than to inspire the next generation with Olympic gold in London.

The 33-year-old half-middleweight will lead Team GB's 14-strong squad at ExCeL, where hopes are high of delivering a first medal at the Games for the sport in 12 years.

Edinburgh-based Burton was once ranked fourth in the world for the under-81kgs division, claiming bronze from both the 2010 European and World Championships.

The Edinburgh judoka continues to produce consistent performances on the International Judo Federation competition circuit, and is often ribbed by his fellow fighters when they spot him blown up larger-than-life as part of a poster campaign.

"It is strange when people send you a Tweet or message on Facebook with them standing up against a bus shelter with a picture of me on it, but it is nice to be recognised for what you have done in your career so far and to build some hope for what you are going to do in now just a few weeks," Burton told Press Association Sport.

"However, it is important not to get carried away with it all because at the end of the day, you need to win judo matches, not appear on billboards.

"It is not any extra pressure, it is more exposure for me and also more importantly for the sport.

"Anything I can do to make more people interested in judo and take it up, I am happy to do."