Colin Oates aims for world judo medal
Viv ThomasJudo ace Colin Oates, from North Lopham, is aiming to return from the World Championships in Japan with a medal round his neck.The 27-year-old is competing in the -66kg category in the Tokyo-based championships on Sunday.Viv Thomas
Judo ace Colin Oates, from North Lopham, is aiming to return from the World Championships in Japan with a medal round his neck.
The 27-year-old is competing in the -66kg category in the Tokyo-based championships on Sunday.
'I have performed quite well in major events and it has definitely been my best year so far,' he said. 'I am looking for a good performance and definitely try to be amongst the medals this time.'
He has been to two world championships previously but made an exit after the first fight on both occasions.
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'I was less experienced because I was not ready for this stage but this time I am a little bit more confident. I just need to get that last little hurdle,' he explained.
Oates, although mainly training at Dartford these days, still lives at home and finds time to go through his paces at his local Kumo Judo Club in North Lopham under the watchful eye of coach Howard Oates - his proud dad.
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'He has coached me since I was 12 and now I have got to this stage, it's a high standard so he is quite pleased.'
In fact, judo is definitely a family affair with sister Vicky and brother David still training at the club, the latter also undertaking coaching work in schools, plus mum Denise is the area chairman. 'It's kind of a family sport,' said Oates.
Amongst his achievements, Oates has won a European Cup medal, was just outside the medals in the Russia grand slam and won a World Cup bronze medal from the Czech republic in March this year.
Beyond Toyko, Oates says he will be focusing on his long-term ambition - the London Olympics. 'Definitely looking to 2012, hoping to represent Britain there, put in a good performance and maybe get a medal.
'Then I'll see where it goes - stick with it or retire, I will see,' he added.
Preliminary selection of the Olympic squad is next summer.