IT WAS a case of third time lucky for St Columb's College student, Joshua Green who finally got his hands on a gold medal at the 2017 School Games National Finals at Loughborough University.
The judo player, who was part of the Northern Ireland School Games team, clinched victory in the Under-73kg category after a tough final against Ryan Quigley.
And the Derry lad was delighted to finally top the podium at the prestigious event in what will be his final year at the Games as he finished his School Games experience on a high.
“I started the day a wee bit slow but then I went on to finish on a high," said Green. "Ryan Quigley (who won silver) is a good fighter, so I was just waiting for a big right hand to land – it was a good contest!
“It’s my third time at the School Games," he explained. "Two years ago I got a bronze but then this year, my final year, it feels good to finish on a high with gold.
"I want to thank all my coaches, especially on the programme, and particularly my dad for everything.”
Green will travel to Bratislava in Slovakia this weekend for a senior European competition, the Bratislava Senior European Cup, before the upcoming Junior World Championships.
The School Games are an integrated multi-sport event for the UK’s most talented school-age athletes, with around 1,600 athletes competing across 12 sports, seven of which included disability disciplines.
Previous competitors include Paralympic champions Hannah Cockroft, Ellie Simmonds and Jonnie Peacock, Olympic champion Adam Peaty, and GB sprinters Adam Gemili and Dina Asher-Smith.
The School Games are the springboard for future athletes with 56 of the 382 athletes representing Team GB at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio having competed at the School Games.