Euan Burton faces last chance for world title

By Jessica CreightonOlympic sports reporter

Great Britain's top judo player Euan Burton believes next week's World Championships in France could provide his last chance to win the competition.

The 32-year-old Scot has twice won world bronze medals but has never finished on top of the podium.

Burton told BBC Sport: "It may be the end of my competitive career after the Olympic Games, so my chances are few and far between.

"If I don't ever win a world title I'll be hugely disappointed."

He added: "My time is either now or in London [at the Olympics] because I don't know what's going to happen, I'm not getting any younger."

Ranked sixth in the world in the under-81kg category, Burton is Britain's highest-ranked judoka and GB's best hope of a medal next summer.

The Worlds allow the GB team to judge how well they are faring up in the run-up to the London 2012 Games and earn important ranking points towards their Olympic qualification.

Burton, who won the prestigious Tokoyo Grand Slam in 2009, has added European and World bronzes to his collection in the last year, boosting his self-belief.

"I know I can win events where all the top players are, I've won a couple of Grand Slams where the judoka I'm going to be fighting at the Olympics were also," he said.

Craig Fallon, Britain's last world champion in 2005, has also been selected in the 15-strong squad to go to Paris, despite only recently returning to the sqaud from a two-year absence.

Five-time World silver medallist Karina Bryant leads the British women's contingent, competing in the over-78kg category.

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