Oates on top of world
Colin Oates has taken bronze in a 57-competitor strong category at judo's Prague World Cup. Oates, from South Lopham, defeated France's David Czukiewycz after just 50 seconds of the -66kg weight category bronze medal fight in the capital of the Czech Republic.
Colin Oates has taken bronze in a 57-competitor strong category at judo's Prague World Cup.
Oates, from South Lopham, defeated France's David Czukiewycz after just 50 seconds of the -66kg weight category bronze medal fight in the capital of the Czech Republic.
It is his first World Cup medal of the year and follows a silver for Britain's Euan Burton at the German Grand Prix.
Oates said: 'There is no doubt this is my most significant medal to date. I have taken a World Cup medal before but to win bronze in such a strong field feels great.
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'I am now just focusing on getting back to training and selection for the European Championships.'
Oates won his first fight against Miguel Albarracin of Argentina with a hold-down for ippon. His second against Albert Techov of Lithuania went to a full five minutes before he won with two penalty scores on the board.
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His contest with Ukrainian Igor Buryi also went the distance before he won by waza-ari. But an even fight against Pawel Zagridnik, which looked to go the Briton's way, was ended with a minute to go when the Pole threw Oates to end his hopes of a clear run to the final.
Despite his disappointment, the 26-year-old went into his repechage fight against Tunisian Ragheb Karchoud, who he threw for ippon after three minutes to book his place in the bronze medal fight.
Oates, a member of the Kumo Judo Club in Diss, also trains at the British Judo Performance Institute in Dartford. He won British Judo's most improved British squad player award 2009.
Great Britain coach Darren Warner said: 'Colin's medal is well deserved. He dominated the entire day in a tough category.
'Even in the fight he lost against Poland's Zagrodnik he was in control but was just caught out.
'Head coach Patrick Roux has put an emphasis on our players building their fight and taking control. Everything we are working on in training Colin put into practice during this tournament. This was without doubt Colin's best performance to date and he is still improving.'