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Inverness teenager Sophie Mapplebeck wins fourth Scottish judo title

By Will Clark

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SOPHIE Mapplebeck became national champion for a fourth time when she claimed victory at the Scottish Judo Championships at Largs.

Sophie Mapplebeck
Sophie Mapplebeck

The Inverness Royal Academy pupil took another Scottish title in the Cadets class when she won all six of her bouts during the tournament.

Her achievement was made even more impressive given it was the first judo competition she had taken part in since the first lockdown in March 2020.

Mapplebeck (15) says despite the pandemic, she maintained a regular training regime which prepared her well for competition which saw her become Scottish champion.

“This is the fourth time I have won a Scottish championship and it was the first competition that has taken place in Scotland since the pandemic started,” she said.

“It was definitely one of my proudest wins, as we have been waiting a long time to take part in competitions again due to Covid and we have had to do training at home during that time.

“We were able to train with sessions online that we could do at home.”
As well as four Scottish titles, Mapplebeck has also won two British gold medals as she strengthens her reputation in the sport.

She started judo when she was five and then started competing in the sport when she turned eight where she has achieved major success.

She was encouraged to take up the sport by her dad Mark who runs Northern Judo Club at Hilton Community Centre which he only opened three months ago.

He decided to establish the club with his brother Paul after being involved in the sport for 30 years and felt this year was the right time to open up his own club, which has around 20 members at present.

He runs classes twice a week and also coaches Sophie to prepare her for major competitions.

The next big competition Sophie will prepare for will be the British Championships. She also has aspirations of competing on the biggest judo stage of all.

She said: “I would like to compete at the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics.”

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