Oates plants seed for team-mates
July 29, 2012 17:24 pm
Colin Oates hopes his run to the medals' block of the men's under-66kgs will help inspire the rest of Team GB's judo fighters to Olympic success.
Oates, 29, produced a stunning third-round win over world number three Tsagaanbaatar Khashbaatar of Mongolia to make it into the last eight.
However, the Norfolk fighter was then unable to edge past Georgian Lashas Shavdatuashvili, who went on to reach the final, which put him into the repechage where he missed the chance of a bronze-medal fight-off after losing to Jun-Ho Cho of Korea.
Britain has not won an Olympic medal since the Sydney Games 12 years ago, but Oates believes with the likes of Euan Burton and heavyweight Karina Bryant still to fight at the ExCeL later this week, there are plenty of reasons to be positive.
He said: "I really hope this spurs on the rest of the guys and girls to take a medal, because we have got great fighters to come and as you can see with myself, upsets are here for the taking.
"I knew once you were in the last block that you had a chance, for me it didn't work out, but once I digest it all, I guess seventh place at the Olympic Games is really a great achievement for myself. If I look at where I came from seven months ago, it is really great."
Oates believes come Rio 2016, British judo could be competing for medals again.
He added: "Everyone has been working hard and pushing on. All the work from this will hopefully bear fruit a little bit further down the line. If we get a few things in order, then I think it could really work."
The roof almost came off the 7,000-capacity North Arena 2 as Oates revelled in his victory over Khashbaatar. The atmosphere was also electric again for both of his next fights, which ended in disappointment for the partisan home crowd.
Oates said: "I really wanted to take a medal, to inspire a generation, to drag more players into the sport. It is a great discipline for kids and has taught me a lot in life. Maybe with days like this, that will all help. Let's hope now we can go on and take that medal."
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