Heartache for Oates who suffers last-16 exit
Colin Oates has suffered the heartbreak of being eliminated at the last-16 stage of the World Judo Championships for the third year running.
Competing in Astana, Kazakhstan, the 32-year-old was beaten by home nation fighter Yeldos Zhukmakanov in the men’s 66kg section on Tuesday morning.
Oates - who lives in North Lopham - had successfully navigated his opening two rounds, but was defeated by a throw.
Had he managed to reach the final eight then not only would he have had to have been beaten twice to be eliminated from the championships - due to the repecharge round - but his funding from UK Sport would have also have significantlyimproved.
However, Oates’ dad and coach Howard said there were still some positives to come from the competition.
“At first we thought Colin had injured his neck, but the good news is that he’s ok,” he said. “He’s just a bit stiff. He’s also got another 108 points for Rio.”
Oates remains determined to qualify for next year’s Olympic Games in Brazil, and the 108 points earned in Kazakhstan takes his total to 540.
Some may see this as enough for the judoka to already be expecting a call from Team GB to compete at his second Olympic Games, following on from his London 2012 appearance.
But Oates is refusing to rest on his laurels and has targeted another 150 qualifying points. He will be looking to add to his total at the Grand Slam event in Paris in October.