• Home
  • News
  • Allan and Brothers, fighting their way to the Youth Olympic Games

Allan and Brothers, fighting their way to the Youth Olympic Games

8 August 2018

BUENOS AIRES: Rhys Allan and Saskia Brothers have been selected as Australia’s judo contingent for the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games, bringing Australia's total to 65 young athletes across 22 sports.

Allan says earning his spot at YOG was “hard fought…literally” having to climb a long ladder of opponents.

“After a couple of months competing in Europe and at the Continental Championships, I was sitting at ninth on the YOG ranking table and I knew to directly qualify for a place at Buenos Aires, I needed to get into the top five,” the Perth local said.

“I had to watch other competitors earn their valuable points, while I waited for my chance to compete in Asia at the last two YOG qualifying events.

“I managed to win both Asian Cups and directly qualify as number two on the YOG ranking system.

“Hearing the Australian National Anthem played as I stood on the podium and knowing I had earnt my place to represent my country at YOG, was the best feeling in the world,” he said.

The 17-year-old ex-rugby player amassed an astounding eight gold, one silver and two bronze medals on his path to YOG qualification. He did this over various national and international U18 and U21 competitions throughout the year.

Rhys Allan

Fifteen-year-old Brothers’ qualification journey was equally impressive.

“I won gold at the Oceania Continental Championships, which gave me valuable points towards my World Ranking, then after winning the Junior National Championships in June, I was selected to compete in Honk Kong and Macau at two International and Youth Olympic Ranking events,” she said.

“I was fortunate enough to medal in both events and the points I received ranked me as the highest female competitor in my age group.”

Even though Brothers has found great success as a judoistfighting wasn’t her first love.

Originally, the Castle Hill teenager was a ballet dancer, beginning classical ballet as a two-year-old, she then followed in her second dan black-belted grandfather’s footsteps and took up judo when she was five.

Brothers believes that classical ballet laid the foundations for her judo success, by teaching her core strength, balance and flexibility which she has transferred into her judo regime.

Impressively, she has not given up ballet, in fact, she juggles both judo, ballet and school.

“Time management is important, my week generally consists of seven hours of classical ballet classes and seven and a half hours of judo per week after school and sometimes back-to-back,” she said.

With such a busy schedule, finding enjoyment in your sport is paramount. Brothers says her favourite part about judo is the friends she’s been able to make along the way, both nationally and internationally.

For Allan, friendships are a great bonus, but it’s the highs and lows of competition that give him the most motivation.

“Judo is a way of life for me and for anyone else who participates in the sport. It builds character and you create strong bonds with each other because we can relate on a different level that we can’t do outside of judo.

“I’m addicted to the high emotions and feelings you get after winning a big tournament or medalling. It keeps me hungry to train and put in that extra effort to experience that feeling again.”

You can learn more about Rhys and Saskia HERE

Selected Australian athletes for Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games - Judo
Rhys Allan (17), Perth WA
Saskia Brothers (15), Castle Hill, NSW

Liana Buratti
olympics.com.au

Related News

16 medals push Australia into top 12 as Buenos Aires 2018 closes

16 medals push Australia into top 12 as Buenos Aires 2018 closes

20 October 2018

Australia has finished its Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympics campaign with four gold medals, eight silver and another four bronze to go with personal bests and invaluable experience on the biggest stage for young elite athletes.

Vanuatu and Australia's hockey connection

Vanuatu and Australia's hockey connection

19 October 2018

Australia and Vanuatu’s hockey teams didn’t let not being drawn to play each other in competition stop them from meeting each other on the pitch at Buenos Aires 2018.

Aussie Youth Olympic divers, down but not out

Aussie Youth Olympic divers, down but not out

19 October 2018

Australia’s Youth Olympic divers had to deal with injury while competing at Buenos Aires 2018, but it is not deterring them from looking to the future.

Related Games

Buenos Aires 2018

Buenos Aires 2018

Related Sports

Judo

Judo