Oates seals European silver as the Rio Games loom closer

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Colin Oates enjoyed some promising preparation for this year’s Olympic Games by clinching an under-66kg silver medal at the European Judo Championships in Kazan, Russia, writes Sam Murley.

With the Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil now less than 100 days away, The North Lopham-raised judoka, impressed on his run into the semi-finals, where he beat Slovenian Adrian Gomboc.

However, the 32-year-old, who had already qualified for the Rio Olympics, could not match his efforts in the gold-medal contest as he was beaten by Georgia’s Vazha Margvelashvili.

“It was a really good day today,” an upbeat Oates told British Judo following his final defeat.

“It’s amazing that I can still feel gutted though because I felt I had the chance to become European champion and missed it.

“That being said it’s great reinforcement ahead of the Games and to take another European medal is a great achievement.”

n Lucinda Gooderham’s hopes of heading to Rio were dealt a blow this week with Team GB revealing that 12 from a possible 14 boats had qualified to date for Rio.

Despite not being included in British Rowing’s World Cup and European Championbship squads, the Garboldisham-based ace had not been ruled out completely for Olympic selection.

However, that now appears even slimmer a possibility with 12 of the 14 boats’ line-ups already confirmed.