Sports review of 2012

Ben Edwards and David Coulthard Picture: BBC
Ben Edwards and David Coulthard Picture: BBC

It was a sporting year like no other, with 2012 also being a dramatic year in the Diss area where the sports headline makers included North Lopham judoka Colin Oates, writes Russell Claydon.

The 29-year-old had the nation on their feet in June when he overcame former world champion Tsagaanbaatar Khashbaatar to reach the quarter-finals of the under-66kg category at London 2012, but his dreams of a medal were dashed in the last eight when losing to Georgian Lasha Shavdatuashvili.

Oates had a chance to fight for bronze by coming through a repechage contest with World Championship bronze medallit Cho Jun-Ho from South Korea, but Britain’s hope ran out of steam, going down by two yukos.

Among other sports stories filling up our back pages; Diss Town had the second meanest defence in the Ridgeons League Premier Division in 2011/12 as they ensured survival on their return to step five, finishing 16th and reaching the FA Vase third round, while Debenham LC finished seventh in the First Division following relegation with former player Dale Vince having taken over from Rob Allum.

Meanwhile, Stoke City defender Mattew Upson told the Diss Express in June he had called time on his international career after 21 caps for England, but would not leave the Premier League yet.

Diss Rugby Club finished fourth in London One North in their first season since relegation from the National League in what coach Phil Sharpe declared a ‘foundation year’.

Diss Ladies Hockey Club celebrated a second successive promotion, but Harleston Magpies men suffered relegation from the National League while Diss Athletics Club staged their first 10k road race through the town in June, drawing in a field of 211 runners.