Judo star Colin Oates returns to competitive action for the first time since the London Olympics today when he fights in the Malaga European Cup in Spain.
And the North Lopham resident is aiming to break into the world’s top 20 with big outings in the Samoa World Cup (Apia, November 16) and China Grand Prix (Qingdao, November 24) following his warm-up in Spain, where he will fight up a weight at 73kg.
Great Britain’s number one at under-66kg is currently ranked 27th in the world in the latest published International Judo Federation Rankings, having previously held a career high of 25.
The joint seventh-place finisher at London 2012 said: “The aim is to try and push into the top 20 and then top 15.
“If I am honest, Malaga is a move towards feeling back into it so I am ready for the long journey to Samoa and then China but I always go to win though.”
Kumo Judo Club fought five players at the Southend International with Gemma Moore (u63kg) taking gold, David Oates (u66kg) taking silver and Catalin Sergeant (u48kg) taking bonze.