A DEDICATED judo star is determined to make this season his most successful yet by building on an impressive 12 months.
Bearsden’s Dominic Laing is currently reigning Commonwealth and Scottish junior champion in the -90kg category.
However, after tasting international competition in Portugal at a European Cup event earlier this summer, the former Bearsden Academy pupil has his sights set on an even bigger prize – a place at the 2013 World Junior Championship.
The 18-year-old lost out on a place this year to rival Sam Potts, from Bath.
Laing – who trains at Sporting Judo Club Alba, Clydebank – said: “I wasn’t selected for the Worlds this year, which was really disappointing.
“I was winning fights abroad and became Commonwealth champion in Cardiff, but I guess I need to do more.”
The black belt added: “To be fair, Sam Potts has beaten me three times out of four, but it still hurt to be left out when I have dedicated 21 hours a week to judo for the past three years of my life.
“This time round, I have to prove that they have to take me. Sam will have moved up to the seniors so it is all down to me.”
At the end of September Laing will defend his Scottish title, but he knows it will not be easy as he will be up against Matthew Allison and Liam Donkin, who he admits are looking extremely dangerous.
He said: “We all train together as Team Scotland in the run-up to the tournament, so we know each other inside-out.”
Laing moves on to the British Championships in Sheffield about a month later, before the trials for the European circuit which start in January.
He is part of the Bank of Scotland Local Heroes programme – a partnership with SportsAid – which provides support and funding to 82 of Scotland’s most talented developing athletes.