Bensted to make Australian judo history in Birmingham
WHEN Geelong’s Jake Bensted was first taken to the mat at six years of age, he didn’t expect to be a two-time Commonwealth Games athlete. Now he will.
Geelong will be represented by one of its own at the 2022 Commonwealth Games when judo athlete Bensted puts on the green and gold later this year in Birmingham, United Kingdom in Australia’s 12-judoka team.
The now two-time Commonwealth Games athlete joins teammate Katharina Häecker as the only judokas to represent Australia twice at the once-every-four-year event.
“To join Katharina as a two-time Australian judo representative is a pretty cool achievement, and something I am incredibly proud of,” Bensted said.
“I am excited to be a part of our 12 judokas squad. We are motivating each other every day to improve, and I can’t wait to join the whole Australian team in Birmingham.”
Bensted was both excited and relieved when he first received the call that he would be representing his country again, but now the hard work begins as he looks to build upon his third-place finish at the Games in 2014.
“It’s always stressful when you’re waiting to see if you made the team, but now I’m very excited,” Bensted said.
“Everyone back at home in Geelong will be very excited.
“It won’t just be me going over to Birmingham, everyone who has helped me along the journey will also be going, not in-person but definitely in spirit.”
Bensted has earned plenty of success throughout his career and will aim for more when he competes in the Men’s 73kg division at 28 years of age.
“Winning bronze at the Glasgow 2014 Games was the highlight of my career so far, so I am excited for this opportunity to represent Australia again,” Bensted said.
“I started judo when I was six years old, that’s about 22 years now, so it’s been quite a while, but I grew up surrounded by cousins and it was always a bit rough and tumble, which I really enjoy about judo, just the physicality of it.
“Every time I compete it’s like a real test when you’re fighting someone else, one mistake and it could all be over.”
Judo at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham will be held from Monday, August 1, through to Wednesday, August 3, at Coventry Arena.