Countdown to the Olympics with Sophie Johnstone (week two)

AS part of our countdown to the Olympics, our weekly column comes from a local athlete as we count down to 2012.

LAST week, I participated in a training camp in Berlin. Since this was a self–funded trip, it needed to be done as economically as possible.

So, the alarm clock went off at 3am on the Monday morning and I made my way to Luton airport in time for the Easyjet 6am flight.

No bags to check in – as of course this all costs extra – so my judogi was squeezed into my hand luggage.

Upon arrival at Berlin airport, I met up with some of my Camberley Judo club team-mates and we successfully navigated our way to the training camp venue near the city centre by train and tram for the bargain sum of three euros. So far, so good.

The training consisted entirely of randori (sparring practice) and each session lasted for two and a half hours.

We were able to fit in five sessions before returning home on the Wednesday evening.

It was a very busy camp, with hundreds of participants, so it was a great opportunity to train with some different people, including representatives from Germany (obviously!), France, Turkey, Austria, Denmark and Switzerland.

The World Judo Championships is being held this week in Paris and, unfortunately, I won’t be there as I haven’t achieved the selection criteria of a World Cup medal this year, due to injury.

However, I found out I have been selected for a training camp and World Cup tournament in Rome the first weekend in October and also been given the go-ahead to self-fund the Belarus World Cup the weekend after, which is likely to cost around £600.

So, now I have another opportunity to try to get my Olympic dream back on track.

I have to put the disappointment of not getting selected for the World Championships behind me and focus on doing everything I possibly can to try to win that elusive World Cup medal, and, believe me, I’m going to give it everything I’ve got.

To sponsor Sophie, contact her on sophiejudo@hotmail.com

Follow her on Twitter @sophiejudo