RAF Halton gunner Lewis is flying after Olympic call-up

RAF Halton gunner James Keeble has made the Team GB judo squad
RAF Halton gunner James Keeble has made the Team GB judo squad
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The Senior Aircraftsman has been selected as reserve in the under 66kg category for the British judo team.

The 21 year old says he is ‘buzzing’ after getting the call and admitted his head was still in the clouds.

RAF Halton gunner James Keeble has made the Team GB judo squad

RAF Halton gunner James Keeble has made the Team GB judo squad

He said: “If I was asked two years ago, ‘wh ere do you see yourself in the Olympic team closer to the games?’ I would have said that being number three or four leading up to the event would have been realistic.

“But the fact that I am considered by GB and the coaching staff as a potential Olympian gives me massive confidence.”

A career at Halton has certainly done his sporting credentials no harm.

“Judo is a rounded sport, physically you need to have a strong aerobic base and you need to be flexible,” he said.

“When I joined the RAF, judo training really helped me get through the distances we marched while carrying the weight on my back.”

The black belt started judo when he was seven years old.

He joined the RAF Regiment four years ago and, with the support of the RAF Sports Board, has had the opportunity to train in the martial art full-time for Great Britain and is based at the Dartford Judo Performance Centre.

As reserve, Lewis will play understudy to Colin Oates but intends to push him all the way.

“As the reserve, I will be pushing Colin in training, showing the coaches that if he gets injured, I am ready to step up and take my opportunity,” Keeble added.

Lewis’s coach, Darren Warner, said: “I expect Lewis, in the next few years, to become British number one.”

Judo contests at the Games will be five minutes of athletes attempting a combination of throws and holds in a bid to defeat their opponents.