Judo star Oates wins national title

Judo ace Colin Oates, from North Lopham, stepped up his preparations for the 2011 European Championships in Turkey by claiming the -66kg title at the English Senior Open on Sunday at iceSheffield.

Oates, 27, was returning from a six-week injury lay-off after suffering a finger injury at the start of the year.

The much-admired judoka, who splits his training between his family's Kumo Judo Club and the British Performance Institute in Dartford, said: 'I needed contests after being selected for the European Championships and I'm really pleased with how the English Open panned out for me.

'I felt comfortable, had some good contests and produce some ippons. There's no problem with injury, it was well tested at the English Open and I'm ready for the next step now.

'I'll be fighting at the Sarajevo European Cup in Bosnia on Saturday and then we have a camp in Paris before tapering for the European Championships.

'There's a lot of competition for places within the British team right now and everyone will be looking to put in a strong performance in Turkey and that's my goal.'

The British Judo Association is the National Governing Body for the Olympic Sport of judo in Great Britain.

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Kumo Judo Club train at Lopham Village Hall, Diss.

Juniors train on a Monday at 6.45 to 7.45pm and on Wednesday at 6 to 7pm.

Seniors train on a Monday at 7.45 to 9pm and on Wednesday at 8 to 9pm. Women and girls train on Wednesday at 7 to 8pm.