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Judo star aiming for the top

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Olivia Delahunty's judo story is one of broken noses, gold medals, strained elbows and European competitions - and it's only just beginning.

Olivia, of Brightwalton, joined Newbury Judo Club when she was just four.

Now 16, she's set her sights on winning medals at a European Cup and the British Junior Championship.

Olivia Delahunty (56629672)
Olivia Delahunty (56629672)

Olivia's coach, Nicki Harris, entered the starlet into the British Minors Championship when she was just 10-years-old.

Olivia travelled to Scotland for the event and returned home with the gold medal in her age group.

The following year, she came fifth in the Pre-Cadet British Championships in Sheffield.

Olivia returned to the competition desperate to improve. She proved unbeatable and was crowned champion.

Next up for Olivia was the Pre-Cadet Commonwealth Championships. She fought with determination and composure to win gold.

Her brother, Josh, also competed and won bronze - sibling squabbles look a little different in the Delahunty household!

Olivia then made the step up to the Cadet British Championships. She finished fifth and secured a place on the England Talent Squad for Cadets.

Away from the mat, Covid presented a new, unexpected, challenge.

Olivia trained on Zoom with both Newbury Judo Club and the England squad.

She then joined other elite competitors in select training squads in Walsall and Windsor.

Olivia entered the 2021 British Cadet Championships and, in her final year as a Cadet, won gold.

Just a week later, Olivia fought at the British Junior Championships.

She fought up an age group and secured an impressive bronze medal.

She lost her opening bout but then went unbeaten to claim the bronze.

As a result of her performances, she was selected onto the England and Great Britain squads.

Olivia has been on something of a European Tour in 2022, competing in Spain, Croatia, Czech Republic and France. She'll compete in Portugal this month.

Olivia is balancing brains with brawn. On top of her rigorous training schedule, she's studying for her A-Levels at The Downs School.

Olivia remains level-headed about the future. One thing she does know is she wants to be the best that she can be, and that might take her all the way to the top.

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