Colin Oates Retires From Judo
Two-time Olympian Colin Oates was full of pride as he announced his retirement from Judo, after a career which brought two European medals and Commonwealth gold.
Yet it is not the medal wins that where the highlight for the 34-year-old, who cited his victory over former world champion as the biggest moment of his career as a judoka.
Nobody expected Oates to overcome the Mongolian second seed in Oates Olympic debut, but buoyed by the home crowd, the Norfolk native made it through to eventually finish seventh.
Oates won his first World Cup medal in Drammen in 2008, before claiming European bronze in Istanbul three years later. Oates, who competed in the -66kg category, went one better with silver at the 2016 European Championships in Russia, the first time he had reached the final of a major championship.
The Kumo Judo Club member qualified for the Rio Olympics and was eliminated in a golden-score round after making it to the final 32, but Oates had plenty of positives to reflect on after a successful career.
“I won’t ever forget the crowd in London where I pulled off one of the major shocks of the day by beating the former world champion and number 2 seed in the second round at the Olympics… “From there onwards the last five years have been a blur winning my first ever Grand Slam medal in Russia and my first ever Grand Slam gold in Baku in 2015, after which I reached no.5 in the world rankings…. The final high came when I reached my first ever major championship finals at the Europeans last year, it was a shame not to take the gold but I was proud of my achievement.”
“Ten years ago, I would have never imagined the success I have achieved and I’m thankful for all the help along the way including my many coaches and in particular my Dad, Japes, Patrick Roux and Euan Burton. “They all inspired me to my success, there are too many people to thank but anyone who knows they helped me will always know.” But Oates cannot stay away from the sport for long and will now turn his hand to helping shape the champions of the future. “
Oates now looks to coach and develop the next generation of Judoka in England and in Scotland where he has been helping at both’s talent development programs since 2016.