Oates gets closer to Olympics

Colin Oates
Colin Oates

Colin Oates has taken a step closer to his dream of competing at next year’s Olympic Games in Rio.

The 32-year-old - who represented Team GB at London 2012 - has taken his qualification points tally to 754 after competing in Asia.

That leaves him in 13th place on the Olympic list, and he would need to drop to to around 30-34th in the rankings to miss out.

Although Oates, from North Lopham, is in a comfortable place, his father and coach Howard is refusing to count any chickens.

He told the Express: “You can never take anything for granted, sometimes it takes a few bizare results and everything goes AWOL.

“But we hope he’s got enough points.

“Ultimately, the decision lies with the BOA (British Olympic Association).”

Oates, who trains at the Kumo Judo Club, ended a frustrating year of last 16 exits at elite tournaments with an Asian tour of Korea and Japan that did not yield any medals, even if it did boost his tally of Olympic qualification points.

A last 16 exit in Korea was followed by a seventh place in Tokyo which saw him lose a desperately unlucky contest against the world number three, which cost Oates a bronze medal.

Oates will return to action at the Paris Grand Slam in February.