Deer Stalker – Andy Wants To Get Ahead At World Championships
Andy Deer can’t wait to make up for lost time as he prepares to makes his WTF World Championship debut in Russia next week.
The 2014 European bronze medallist is Great Britain’s selection at -74kg, raring to go after enforced inactivity due to ankle surgery.
Despite his lack of match action Tamworth born Deer is ready for the challenge, fired up by a last minute address this week from top sports psychologist, Dr Steve Peters at the squad’s Manchester head quarters.
“Steve attended the final team meeting and he re-iterated the fact we are here because we love what we do,” explained Deer, the reigning Commonwealth champion. “The message was to go out to Chelyabinsk and enjoy the experience.
“As he spoke, I got more excited to know, after all this hard work, the Championships are about to start.
“In terms of the physicality of being prepared, that’s all done. The mental side is key now because it will help get us through the rounds.
“The power of the mind is very important. If you have not got a strong mind then you risk wasting the hard work in training.
“It is a tough division and there are lots of players wanting these qualification points. Plus we are all out to get the gold.”
Deer, 27, believes his decision to undergo surgery at the expense of early year tournaments will work in his favour.
“Rehab went well and I have no issues with my ankle,” he confirmed. “I took the operation and looked ahead, thinking ‘what is the bigger picture?
“My thoughts were ‘do I miss some of the smaller tournaments and concentrate on qualifying for the Worlds?. I think I made the right decision and I am happy where I am.”
Home favourite Albert Gaum, the reigning European gold medallist, looks the man to beat. But Mexico’sUriel Adriano and Julio Ferreira of Portugal could be in the medal mix.
“It is the World Championship so anyone can turn up and perform,” says Deer philosophically. “I would have loved the support of a home crowd but I will go out there and perform as though they are all on my side.”
Schedule (+4 hour time difference in Chelyabinsk)
May 12: -58kg Josh Calland (Liverpool)
May 13: -74kg Andrew Deer (Tamworth)
May 14: -68kg Ruebyn Richards (Nottingham)
May 15: -54 Max Cater (Southampton)
May 16: -87kg Lutalo Muhammad (Walthamstow); +87kg Mahama Cho (Stockwell)
May 17: -63kg Jordan Gayle (Manchester)
May 18: -80kg Damon Sansum (Elgin)
May 13: -48kg: Charlie Maddock (Stoke on Trent)
May 15: -53kg Georgia Barnes (Southampton); +73kg Bianca Walkden (Liverpool)
May 16: -73kg Jade Slavin (Consett)
May 17: -57kg Jade Jones (Flint)
May 18: -62kg Rachelle Booth (Wigan)