Commonwealth Games 2014: Colin Oates thrilled with judo gold
Commonwealth Games 2014: England judoka Colin Oates admits he was a man under pressure coming into Glasgow
Colin Oates admitted he was a man under pressure coming into the Commonwealth Games – and he delivered in style.
Judoka Oates arrived in Glasgow as world’s top ranked fighter in his under 66kg weight category.
I came in as the favourite and it’s sometimes tough to deliver when all the pressure is on, so I’m very proud of myself
And the 31-year old Englishman admitted he was worried about letting the team down on the first day of competition.
However, the former European bronze medallist secured four confident wins, beating a lowly ranked Malaysia rival in his first fight before wins over India’s Manjeet Nandal, Scotland’s James Millar and Cyprus judoka Andreas Krassas.
And as he stood on the top step of the podium, memories of his disappointing seventh place at London 2012 drifted away.
Oates admitted his tactics weren’t the most exciting but you couldn’t deny they weren’t effective.
“I came in as the favourite and it’s sometimes tough to deliver when all the pressure is on, so I’m very proud of myself and it’s a great day for me,” Oates said.
“I’ve come here with real confidence because training has been going well and recent results have been good.
“When I was seventh at the Olympics I was really disappointed because I wanted so much more and thought I was capable of delivering so much more. My expectations were high and after the Olympics my disappointment just kept grinding away at me.
“I’ve been driving on for two years now and it’s been the best two years of my career, so everything happens for a reason.”
However, there will be no time to celebrate for Oates as he leaves Glasgow and heads for Chelyabinsk in Russia’s Ural Mountains – venue of next month’s World Championships.
“I won’t get the chance to enjoy the full Commonwealth Games experience unfortunately because it’s back to training now and getting ready for the worlds,” he added.
“It will be another step up in level but I really think I can do it. I’ve been fifth in the worlds and my target is now to crack that podium because you’ve got to keep challenging yourself.
“I really want to see where I am against the best in the world now. That’s going to give me a great pointer on the work I need to do before Rio.”
Meanwhile, another London 2012 Olympian also took gold in Glasgow, Ashley McKenzie beating the best of the Commonwealth in his 60kg weight category.
“It feels amazing, it’s just so great after all the work I’ve done. I’m just so chuffed, all my hard work has paid off and hopefully I can perform like that in the World Championships in a couple of weeks,” he said.