A COWDENBEATH judo star is ready to battle to be the best of British after picking up two national titles in a week.

James Rutherford, who is a pupil at Beath High School, travelled to Wales at the end of October to compete in the Welsh Pre-Cadet and Cadet Open, winning a gold medal, a feat he then repeated in the JudoScotland Scottish National Closed Championships, which took place over the weekend of November 5-6 in Largs.

The 13-year-old, who trains with Destination Judo, was successful in the pre-cadet boys 50kg categories at both competitions, and is preparing to showcase his talent at the British Pre-Cadet and Cadet Championships, which will be held in Sheffield over the weekend of December 3-4.

James' proud dad, Alex, told Times Sport: "He trains on a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, and on a Monday and Friday, he has weight training. He's quite committed.

"This year, he retained his Scottish title, and has been training with the JudoScotland squad at Ratho, where their headquarters is. He trained last year with Scotland, won a couple of grand prix events, and went to the British Schools Championships, where he won a bronze medal.

"This was the first time he had done the Welsh championship, and he smashed it. To win two titles in seven days is no mean feat."

James took up the sport six years ago when Destination Judo provided taster sessions whilst he was in P5, gradually building up to take part in competitions.

In August, he went to Belgium with JudoScotland for a four-day training camp, and has rubbed shoulders with the likes of two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Sarah Adlington, and Dalgety Bay's Kirsty Marsh, who made her Commonwealth Games debut for Scotland at Birmingham 2022.

"He's quite a shy guy. I post videos on TikTok, and he gets quite embarrassed," Alex continued.

"I'm delighted that he's got that commitment. His overall goal is to compete at Commonwealth or Olympic level.

"He's loving it."