London 2012 Olympics preview: Colin Oates thinking only of judo success
There won't be any surprises for Colin Oates should he pick up medal success on the judo mat in London – because it is the one image that has been rolling around his mind during the Olympics build-up.
European Championships bronze and a squad-best fifth at the World Championships in Paris – and within a whisker of third – are 2011 Oates highlights in a crisis-hit couple of years for British Judo.
His battle to recover from a fractured shoulder in April however, was a little trickier. But Oates is back on form after bronze at the Czech European Cup in June and having learnt his trade with father Howard and brother David at their Kumo Judo Club in North Lopham, an even bigger prize could head home.
'Visually, I have won the Olympics 10 times already,' said Oates. 'Whenever I go out for a jog, that is one of my main things, I try to think about the emotions on the day, because you need to control them.'
Oates' competition comes down to one day – he will wake up an Olympian, and could go to bed with a medal round his neck.
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'The early stages could be easier than some other tournaments because there will be some nations who are not as strong, but after that you are almost certain to get a seeded fighter. I've done well against some of them, but there are others who will be pretty tough, so if I am going to get past them it really is going to have to be a special performance.'
The half-lightweight's day will see a large travelling Norfolk contingent hoping their boy comes good.
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'Judo is in our blood, everyone in the family is involved,' added Oates, whose mother is also involved at Kumo. 'I would like to help make a name for judo at London 2012. That could change everything for me, which is really pushing me on.'
Sport: Judo – Men's under-66kg. From: North Lopham. Age: 29
Schedule (Excel Arena) Saturday, July 29: 9.30am – Round of 64, Round of 32, Round of 16, Quarter-finals; 2pm – Semi-finals, Repechage and Bronze; 4.10pm – Final.