Local judo player aims for Games

BIG BOYS: Judo player Liam Yokoyama, 16, is already mixing it in elite senior competition.
BIG BOYS: Judo player Liam Yokoyama, 16, is already mixing it in elite senior competition.

RISING Bonnells Bay judo star Liam Yokoyama has added another gold medal to his impressive collection.

The 16-year-old now has his sights on selection in the Australian team for the 2014 Edinburgh Commonwealth Games.

Liam recently won the junior men's event in the 60kg division at the Oceania Judo Championships at Cairns.

The championships provided a showcase for the best judo players in the Pacific region and was a prelim to the 2012 Olympics for leading judokas.

Liam, when aged 14, was the youngest Australian to be awarded a sho dan (black belt) by the Kodokan Judo Institute in Tokyo, Japan.

He is now also contesting senior (over 20 years) events to build his status for Commonwealth Games selection.

He is already ranked No 5 in the Australian senior ranks, and with the imminent retirement of two higher ranked players, he will effectively become the No 3.

He is now preparing for the senior national titles in June and vying for selection at the senior level for the World Cup events in Samoa in November.

At junior level, the Morisset High School student has won three Australian titles and numerous other medals.

Liam trains at the Kido Judo Academy, in Tuggerah.