National gold rush for judo star Jodie

GOLDEN GIRL: Jodie Caller on top of the podium after winning the U20 British Championship gold medal in Sheffield.
GOLDEN GIRL: Jodie Caller on top of the podium after winning the U20 British Championship gold medal in Sheffield.

RENZOKU Judo Club star Jodie Caller truly is in a class of her own, and has just completed an incredible week of gold medal success to prove it.

At 15 years-old she is already the British U17 Cadet champion, but has now added the British Closed U20 Championship and Commonwealth Championship titles to her name.

And she completed a quite remarkable week by winning the Midland Championship gold medal – making her, without question, the country’s hottest young Judo prospect.

The London Olympics comes a little too early for Caller, but she has already been tipped for Rio 2016 glory, and is on the British Judo Association’s ‘path to the podium’ scheme for future Games.

Caller’s memorable seven days began in Sheffield when, competing in the 52kg category, she won all eight fights to claim British Championship gold, even beating 18-year-old European medallist Freya De-Chastelain in the process. She was also the only Cadet player to win in the junior section at the prestigious event.

Having just competed against Great Britain’s best, Caller then represented England at the Commonwealth Championships in Cardiff two days later. And another gold medal was waiting for her there as she became the U17 champion.

If that wasn’t enough, Caller then picked up the Midland Championship title with victory in Walsall, completing a stunning week in the promising career of the 15-year-old.

Not that it came as a surprise to coach Dave Clark who has led her on the path to national glory at Bletchley’s Renzoku Judo Club over the last couple of years.

He said: “She’s not only one of the best players produced by the club, she is also one of the best players for her age, if not the best player for her age in Great Britain at the moment.

“She has an incredible talent for the sport and is a clear prospect for the Games in Rio De Janeiro in 2016.”

Caller took up Judo at the age of 10 and has enjoyed an exceptional rise to success.

She has already won three out of four ranking tournaments and is set to take on Europe’s best when she represents Britain at the European Cadet Championships to be held in Montenegro in June.

However, at such a young age there is very little funding available to help Caller on her path to the Olympics.

It current costs more than £7,000 a year to fund her progress, and Clark is keen to find a sponsor to help her fulfil her potential.

Anyone who might be able to help can visit the club’s website for contact details.