North Lopham judo ace vows to sieze the moment if selected for Olympics

Olympian Colin Oates took a judo demonstration at 'Breckland Leisure Centre ANL-150323-094121009
Olympian Colin Oates took a judo demonstration at 'Breckland Leisure Centre ANL-150323-094121009

North Lopham judo ace Colin Oates has vowed to seize the moment should he qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro.

Barring a disaster, Oates should be on the plane to Rio next summer having picked up another 50 qualifying points from the latest Grand Slam event in Paris.

Oates now has 650 qualifications points to his name, with 500 expected to be enough to win him a place at the Games.

Although the 32-year-old lost in the round of 16 at Paris, Oates said: “It wasn’t the worst of days for me.

“I picked up another 50 qualification points and I think the benchmark for qualification will be around the 500 mark.

“Realistically, a lot can change in this sport but I should know by the end of April after the European Championships whether I will be going to Rio.

“If I do gain selection it will be all or nothing for me. I will be 33 then so it will probably be my last high-level event.

“I want to make sure that I am in the best physical shape possible and that I make the most of the moment after finishing seventh in London.”

Oates bowed out in the third round in Paris after losing a tight match on penalties against Portuguese fighter Sergio Oleinic who went on to take fifth.

The previous week saw the Kumo Judo Club member take a team gold in the German National League after winning all four of his contests.

Judo has been adopted as a core sport for the Commonwealth Games and will feature at the Games in 2022.

Oates will next be in action in Abu Dhabi later this month should he recover from an injury picked up in France.

“I tweaked my knee a little bit when trying to roll my opponent over in the first exchanges of my last fight,” said Oates. “I’ll have to give it a couple of more days but it has started to settle down a bit.”

n At Breckland Leisure Centre in Thetford, Loius Eaton-Cole won all three contests to take a gold with Charlie Morris and Conner Sturman taking bronze in the Eastern Area middle grade event.