Sheffield judo ace thrilled by torch honour

Proud moment: Sam Hall, of Shirecliffe, carries the torch through the streets of Ripon.
Proud moment: Sam Hall, of Shirecliffe, carries the torch through the streets of Ripon.
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JUDO ace Sam Hall carried the Olympic torch as it entered Yorkshire this week.

The Sheffield teenager was one of the lucky few chosen to run with the flame in Ripon on Tuesday as it tours the country before the London 2012 games - with the torch arriving in South Yorkshire on Monday.

Sam, of Keppel Road, Shirecliffe, as nominated by Lloyds TSB as he was sponsored by the bank last year and is aiming to take part in the 2016 Olympics.

The 16-year-old said: “I was a bit nervous, but as soon as the torch is in your hands you stop worrying about dropping it or anything like that. You just want to get it where it needs to be.

“The running part goes so quickly - it’s over in a flash.

“There were so many people there cheering us on on the streets. It’s something I will remember for a long time.”

Frecheville dad Wayne Jackson also saw the torch while visiting Whitby at the weekend for Father’s Day.

He said: “It was brilliant, there was a massive procession.

“It was so good I’m definitely going to see it again when it comes through Sheffield.”

Coun Julie Dore, Sheffield Council leader, is also excited by the torch’s arrival.

She said: “It is incredibly exciting to think this unique piece of history is coming here to Sheffield.

“The Olympic Flame is hugely symbolic all around the world, uniting nations and people.

“It is without doubt a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the people of Sheffield to get a chance like this to see this flame and to have an experience that will live forever in their memories.

“I would urge anyone who gets a chance to come and cheer on the runners on their way through the city and join us at what is going to be a thrilling and exciting evening in Barker’s Pool.”

Today The Star is providing readers with a free, pull-out map detailing the precise route the flame will take around the county.

It arrives in Lundwood, Barnsley, at 1.25pm on Monday, travelling through the town centre and heading towards Darton before leaving the borough and through Chapeltown, Ecclesfield, Parson Cross and Hillsborough to Sheffield city centre and the evening celebration.

It leaves Don Valley Stadium on Tuesday morning to head to Magna, Rotherham, Dalton, Thrybergh, Conisbrough, Warmsworth and on to Doncaster town centre. It then heads for Armthorpe, Dunsville and Hatfield before leaving the county.