Norfolk judoka Colin Oates named in Team England squad for Commonwealth Games
Norfolk’s Colin Oates has been named in the Team England judo squad for this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
The 33-year-old, from North Lopham, near Diss, has been chosen to compete in the men’s under-66kg category.
The Games are being held between July 23 and August 3 and Oates will be going in with high hopes after taking a career-best gold medal in the Baku Grand Slam in Azerbaijan last week.
The event is one of four Grand Slams, the top level events on the International Judo Federation’s (IJF) world tour. Oates claimed his first IJF world tour title, bettering his silver medal claimed at last year’s Moscow Grand Slam.
He beat former Olympic bronze medallist and double world champion Rishod Sobirov of Uzbekistan on his way to the final, where he beat European silver medallist Kamal Khan-Magomedov, from Russia.
Oates said: “It’s a great feeling for me to win my first Grand Slam. What’s important now, with Olympic qualification starting, is to maintain this level of performance consistently.”
In 2011 Oates won a bronze medal at the European Championships and finished fifth at the World Championships, before going on to finish seventh at the London 2012 Olympics after being beaten in the quarter-finals by eventual gold medallist Lasha Shavdatuashvili.
Last year Oates bounced back from a shoulder injury, which caused him to miss the European Championships in Hungary in April, to win the senior men’s under-66kg title at the British Judo Championships in Sheffield in December.
London 2012 silver medallist Gemma Gibbons is included in the squad of 14 for Glasgow, with Oates the oldest member of the squad.
Team England chef de mission Jan Paterson said: “I am delighted to welcome such a talented squad to Team England. It is very unusual to have an entire squad of debutants, but this is the first time Judo has been in the Games since Manchester 2002.
“We have a number of Olympians in the squad, including London 2012 silver medallist Gemma Gibbons and English judo has an incredible record at the Commonwealth Games topping the medal table every time they’ve performed.
“We’ll be up against some tough competition in Glasgow but we will see some high quality performances from this squad.”