Ready Steady Ruebyn. Weight Is Nearly Over For Fit Again Richards
Ruebyn Richards isn’t exactly a shadow of his former self but less is certainly more for the popular Great Britain international.
And the Nottingham star hopes his weighting game will help cut his World Championships rivals down to size in Russia next month.
At the 2013 edition of the Worlds in Mexico, Richards fought at -74kg and has also been an A class tournament silver medallist at -80kg.
This time the 22-year-old heads to Chelyabinsk for his second World appearance as GB Taekwondo’s representative at -68kg. He’s made the adjustment despite months of inactivity after ankle surgery.
“I have worked hard to be at this stage because of all the set-backs I’ve had,” explained Richards, speaking during a media day at the squad’s base in Newton Heath, Manchester.
“I feel like everything has come together and it is in my grasp. Now, I have got to take it.
“I did struggle dropping down a weight towards the end of last year. And it is a lot to shift.
“But with all the support staff at GB Taekwondo I’m in control. The most important thing I have learned is just to listen to my own body.”
Richards won European Championship bronze in Baku last year at -68kg. He also claimed titles at the Luxor and Fujairah Opens…..both with a dodgy ankle.
“I fought but knew something didn’t feel right,” he explained. “One of the ligaments in my ankle snapped off and re-attached itself somewhere else.
“It was still intact but it wasn’t doing the job it was supposed to be doing. I finished up having a second operation which has fixed everything perfectly.
“And having been through it previously I learned a lot from the first time about getting back to full fitness.”
Liverpudlian Martin Stamper claimed a -68kg world bronze medal in South Korea four years ago. Now, it’s Richards’ turn to make an impact on one of the sport’s most competitive weight categories.
“There are so many good players in this division,” he agrees. “And so many times the Olympic champion at -68kg has been seen as the best player in the world. So, it is a great prize to aim for.”