Oates setting his sights on a golden Olympic swansong
Judoka Colin Oates is desperate to seal a golden moment this summer in what could well prove his swansong on the Olympic stage.
After months of having his selection to Rio de Janeiro all but assured, the North Lopham-raised star’s wait for confirmation is over after his place in Great Britain’s seven-person squad was revealed, with the Games commencing in just over 10 days.
And after suffering a quarter-final exit in a home games at London 2012, the 33-year-old is well aware this could be his final shot at leaving the greatest lasting legacy on the sporting world’s biggest stage.
“My selection was on the cards for a while, but with confirmation now all done I’m just excited to get started,” he said.
“Going to an Olympic Games is always the epitome of any athlete’s career and this for me will be the second time.
“However, I don’t just want to be remembered as an Olympian, I want to be remembered as an Olympic medallist.
“This is probably my last chance to compete at the Olympics and that is a huge incentive and motivation.
“It’s sad to think this could be my last appearance but what a great way to celebrate more than 25 years in judo on the biggest stage and biggest celebration of sport.
“I always target gold when going into a championships and this is no different.
“I think it is definitely possible. It is well within my grasp and if I can produce my best then I can win gold and look back with content on my career.”
One stumbling block in Oates’ quest for glory is the fact he failed to secure a seeding for the Olympics, having missed out on a top eight world ranking.
But despite the setback, the world number 11, who sealed silver at the at the European Judo Championships in Kazan, Russia, holds no fear.
“My draw will be completely random, so I could fight anyone,” he added.
“That might seem daunting but I’m happy to fight anyone.
“Judo is all about who delivers on the day, fights can be decided in a blink of the eye.
“I have a lot of experience to draw on and I certainly won’t be fearing anyone at all.”