Norfolk’s Colin Oates reclaims his national crown at British Judo Championships
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Norfolk judoka Colin Oates has claimed a national title at the British Judo Championships in Sheffield.
Oates, from North Lopham, near Diss, came out on top in the senior men's under-66kg category at the English Institute of Sport yesterday.
An ippon victory against Greg Varey saw the London 2012 Olympics competitor claim the British title, as he continues his efforts to represent Team GB again, at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
'I had seven fights and seven wins, so all in all it was a great day,' Oates said.
'I have won the title before but not last year, I lost in the last round last year to finish second so it's good to have the Birtish title back.'
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In 2011 the 30-year-old won a bronze medal at the European Championships and finished fifth at the World Championships, before going on to finish seventh at London 2012 after being beaten in the quarter-finals by eventual gold medallist Lasha Shavdatuashvili.
This year got off to a difficult start for him because of a shoulder injury, causing him to miss the European Championships in Hungary in April, but since his return to fitness in June Oates has enjoyed a successful year.
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He claimed a silver medal at the Judo Grand Slam in Moscow in July and beat Shavdatuashvili at the World Championships in Rio in August, before losing to the eventual winner, Kazahkstan's Azamat Mukanov, in the quarter-finals.
A Grand Prix medal in Croatia and a world ranking of 17 leaves Oates ready for a strong 2014.
'I've got the Commonwealths next year in Glasgow, so that's one of my targets,' he added. 'But there are a lot of big tournaments, 16 overall, so I've got to take it year by year.
'The Europeans are in France and the Worlds are in Russia and the qualifying for the Rio Olympics starts at the back end of next year with half points fir the first year and full points for the year after.'