BARNSLEY man Lachlan Moorhead is hoping to qualify for the Paris Olympics when he competes in the World Judo Championships.

Lachlan, from Penistone, who turned 24 on Wednesday of this week, is in Abu Dhabi to compete on Tuesday in the 81kg category.

The World Championships are the final qualifying event for the Olympics later in the summer, which have been Lachlan’s long-term goal for years.

He won the Commonwealth Games in 2022 and this will be his third World Championships.

Lachlan said: “It’s a huge motivation for me to get to Paris.

“The Olympics are something I have dreamed about since being a kid.

“I very much think I am capable of qualifying.

“I need to go up a few places in the rankings to get to Paris but that is very doable.

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“There are loads of points available at the worlds, more than the other tournaments. So for me, and half the tour, it all comes down to this. I win at least a few rounds pretty much everywhere I go so, if I do that again, I will have a chance.

“I don’t to need pull something crazy out of the bag. I just need to need to win a few fights.

“The World Championships is a huge event in itself. I want to win a world medal before I retire. There is no time like now. It depends on the draw a bit, and I won’t find that out until I get there.”

Strangely, Lachlan’s fate could depend on what happens in some women’s fights elsewhere in the tournament.

“It’s a very weird system and I don’t totally understand it sometimes.

“Anyone who finishes in the top 18 in their category qualifies but then they will give another spot to someone from each country.

“Judo’s whole thing is that they want to be one of the sports with the most athletes from as many different countries as possible. That is how they sell themselves to the Olympic committee.

“The main goal is for me to get in the top 18 myself, which would probably need me to finish in the top five at the worlds – something which is very achievable. But, if I can’t, then I need a couple of the British women to do well and finish in their top 18 so I get that extra spot. It’s really complicated. But it’s all doable for me to get to Paris.”

Lachlan has been travelling around the world on the judo tour. He said: “I feel good. I have been competing OK, picking up steady points.

“I have been the round of 16 king. I win two fights then lose the third. That happened in Georgia, Turkey and Tajikistan recently. I beat some good guys and had decent fights with others but just couldn’t get to the quarter-finals. Those results are OK and get you plenty of points but I’d like to have a run deep into a tournament, hopefully the worlds.”