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No Joshing – Liverpool Lad Ready For Big Break At World Championships

Josh Calland maybe the youngest member of Great Britain’s squad at the WTF World Championship but he’s far from overawed by what lies ahead in Russia.

In fact, the 16-year-old from Netherley, Liverpool has chance to put down a marker for the rest of his team mates in Chelyabinsk.

He’s the first member of the 14-strong Manchester trained squad in action, taking to the mats in the -58kg division next Tuesday. Together with Ruebyn Richards, Andrew Deer and Charlie Maddock, the teenage prospect has already embarked on a gruelling journey east of the Ural Mountains.

“I have worked hard to get this selection and to keep furthering my development,” explained the one-time basketball player.

“I know it is going to be a really big step up because only last year I was still fighting against juniors. This will be my biggest challenge yet.

“But I think I have shown some potential,” added the B Tech Sport student who will add maths to his curriculum in September.

“Studying and training means I have got to be organised. I try to keep a plan of what I do each day. I am more organised now than I was when I first came into the Academy,” added Calland, a senior silver medallist at this year’s Greek and Dutch Opens. “But I can forget about studies for a bit now!

Experienced team mate Mahama Cho has no fears for Calland and GB’s other emerging prospects. “It’s great to see youngsters breaking into the squad because it reminds me when I was their age coming through,” explains the ‘veteran’ 25-year-old London heavyweight.

“I understand how excited they must be about being on such a big stage. With some youngsters it is like ‘OMG’ I am here, I’m at the Worlds, I can’t believe it.’

“Sometimes it is easy to get stage fright but this lot are ready to embrace the challenge more than anything else which is great to see.”


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)

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