Tim Hollingbery’s Youth Commonwealth Games gold has him on the fast track to his Olympic dream.
The 16-year-old from Plumpton has been a dominant force in the cadet (15-16 year old) age group in Australia.
With the confidence he’s gained from his recent success, Tim is confident of forcing his way into the Olympic team.
“I’ll be going there for sure,” he said. “I’ve just got to beat everybody and give it a go. I’ll give it my best and if I don’t win, I’ll learn. There are no excuses.”
Tim has every right to be confident after winning gold at the Youth Commonwealth Games in the over 90kg judo division, claiming Australia’s first gold medal.
Needing to win two bouts to claim the medal, Tim defeated Mozambique’s Helder Martins 10-0 before an 11-0 whitewash of The Bahamas’ Daleon Sweeting.
It was a dominant result and Tim said the experience taught him to “expect the unexpected”.
“I was expecting a lot more from the first guy because he looked very big and very strong but he wasn’t as strong as I thought,” he said.
“The second guy I wasn’t expecting. He had odd grips and fought really well - it was a good fight.”
Not one to rest on his laurels, Tim will head to his next competition this week at the 2017 Cadet World Championships in Chile.
Tim will travel to the event with five competitors from his gym, Zenbu Judo Club.
He has high hopes for the competition where he will fight European competitors.
“I’m hoping to win, it’s a very big hope but I’m hoping to win,” Tim said.
“There will be a lot of really good fights, which is what I’m looking forward to. Good, long, hard fights. I don’t mind if the fights go on for 10-15 minutes, which is a very long time when you’re up there but I just love the feeling of the adrenaline rush you get.”
Tim started judo in 2010 with Terry Derwin, who now trains at Mount Druitt PCYC, and praised his former mentor for getting him into the sport.
He still trains at the PCYC but is now part of the Zenbu Judo Club under Athens 2004 Olympian Morgan Endicott-Davies.
Endicott-Davis said Tim has been progressing well since joining the club.
“We’ve seen a massive improvement since he’s been here and part of it was his attitude towards tournaments as well as the willingness to get out and train hard,” he said.
“He’s training with senior men and a lot of them are representatives. Training in that environment, he’s lifted three fold in the last year and a half.”
The club had two Youth Commonwealth Games medalists with Uros Nikolic also winning silver.
“There’s something quite special happening with five representatives from one club on the national team,” Endicott-Davies said.
“I think we’re doing something right and there is a good training culture in the club.”