Giles is a judo golden boy - The Rugby Observer
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10th Aug, 2022

Giles is a judo golden boy

Rugby Editorial 10th Sep, 2014 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016

RUGBY judo player Joshua Giles believes he produced his best fight of the year to claim -50kg gold at the Sainsbury’s 2014 School Games in Manchester.

Giles, who attends Bilton School, overcame Scotland’s Rob Hamilton in the -50kg final to claim gold while he also helped an England A outfit to team gold.

And Giles believes his experiences at the annual multi-sport event in Manchester will stand him in good stead for his future ambitions on the tatami.

“It feels really good to have won gold at the School Games. I didn’t really know what to expect coming into the tournament, so I’m delighted that I won,” said Giles.

“I thought my performances were really good and the final was one of my best fights this year.

“I feel really lucky to get picked for the School Games because only two or three people are selected from each country and I really enjoyed the experience.

“The experience from the competition will definitely help me with my judo in the future – it was really good.

“I started doing judo when I was about five. My dad used to do judo and he wanted me to follow him into it.

“As soon as I began I really liked it and knew I wanted to carry on.”

The School Games have helped to launch the careers of many British athletes, including heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds, who were watching intently in Manchester.

Giles hopes to follow in the footsteps of hero and London 2012 Olympian and Commonwealth champion Colin Oates and represent Great Britain on the biggest stages in the future.

“I watched quite a lot of judo at London 2012 and it was brilliant to see Colin Oates – he’s definitely a sporting hero of mine,” he added.

“He did really well and he’s the same sort of weight I probably will be, so he’s someone I look up to.

“I’d love to emulate him and go to an Olympic Games in the future. I’ve got a European Cup next though.

“My first aim is to be selected and if that happens then I will be targeting a medal.”

The Sainsbury’s 2014 School Games, which is supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, was held in venues across Manchester between September 4-7. Visit for more information.


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