Nottingham's Ruebyn Richards targets inaugural European Games glory
While Ruebyn Richards admits his trip to Baku is somewhat of a fact-finding mission, that isn't stopping the Nottingham Taekwondo ace from aiming big at this month's inaugural European Games, Nottingham Post reported.
Richards is one of seven chosen to represent Team GB in the sport of Taekwondo at the first ever European Games - the 22-year-old selected in the -68kg event, which gets underway on Wednesday, June 17.
And Richards will arrive in Azerbaijan with a point to prove after exiting last month's World Championships in the third round, after losing on golden point to Poland's Karol Robak.
The European Games will mark the first major multi-sport event that Richards will have competed in, but that doesn't mean he won't be aiming high - especially with crucial Rio 2016 qualification points up for grabs.
"The European Games are going to be my first multi-sport event so I'm looking to learn a lot from that in terms of focusing on what I want to do and there is going to be a lot of new things for me," Richards said.
"I will be learning off the mats as well as on the mats.
"On the mats, points are available, like any competition, but off the mats it will be good looking forward to the Olympic Games.
"My target for 2015 is to win the European Games and I really believe I can do that.
"It's the top 16 at the European Games so it's only four fights which is good so it's going to be four hard fights and you've got a really good chance of being in the medals."
But whatever happens, Richards admits he has to pinch himself when he thinks about just how far he has come.
"When I was four I wanted to be a Power Ranger and I just loved the show so my mum took me down to a Taekwondo club and I just fell in love with it," he added.
"I had a great teacher there who taught me a lot of values about how to become a better athlete even from such a young age.
"If I fought a Power Ranger I think they'd win because they've got all the tools but it is amazing to think how far I have come and I can't wait to compete at the European Games."
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