Euan Burton is set to retire this summer and while the Scottish judoka insists he will do so with his head held high, he admits that his failure to medal at an Olympic Games will live with him for a little while yet.
Burton has been one of Great Britain’s judo stars since the turn of the millennium, winning two World and three European Championship bronze medals in the -81kg category.
However on the Olympic stage the 35-year-old has found the podium just out of his reach, finishing seventh at the 2008 Beijing Games before failing to escape the round of 32 at London four year later.
Burton insists he will walk away from judo after this summer’s Commonwealth Games, and while he is adamant he has no regrets, his lack of Olympic silverware does leave a bad taste in his mouth.
“From the age of 18, and probably before that, all the way through to London, I gave everything to this,” Burton said.
“There was no stone unturned, there were sacrifices made, I gave up friendships, relationships, sacrificed things like that for my sport to try and achieve the pinnacle of what you can achieve in my sport, which is to be Olympic champion. And I got two opportunities to do that and I didn’t manage to take either of them.
“I’m disappointed that I didn’t manage to take either of them, but I am also very proud of what I have achieved in my career because as a 15 or 16-year-old boy, if people had said ‘who’s going to be the best judo player in the next generation for Scotland?’ no-one would have said Euan Burton.
“I didn’t achieve the things I wanted to achieve in Olympic terms, but I achieved a great deal more than I probably thought I could in terms of everything else. I’ve got absolutely no regrets about what I’ve done in my career. Regardless of what happens in Glasgow I’ve got no regrets.”
© Sportsbeat 2014