JUDO sensation Colin Oates has revealed he has decided not to give up on getting his hands on an Olympic medal.
The North Lopham star had admitted he was wavering on whether London 2012 would be his one and only Games.
But after seeing off a top 10 opponent for the first time in a major competition and only losing to the gold medallist, eventually coming seventh in the under-66kg category on Sunday, Oates now admits he is fully committed to achieving his ultimate dream in Brazil’s Rio de Janiero in 2016.
Speaking to the Diss Express from London this week, Oates said: “I think before these Games I was 50/50 for carrying on after and I went out there this weekend and I am almost certainly going for Rio now to try and get a medal. I am definitely hungry for more.”
Oates provided one of the highlights of the opening few days for the partisan home crowd, seeing off Mongolia’s world number two Tsagaanbaatar Khasbaatar in a dramatic finale to the last 16 encounter.
And although he then lost in an extra-time (known as golden score) period to Georgia’s eventual winner Lasha Shavdatuashvilli and then missing out on a bronze medal in the repechage with defeat to South Korea’s Cho-Jun Ho, he said the experience was one he would never forget.
“The ExCeL Centre is amazing, the crowd are phenomenal and it is almost hard to describe — I have never experienced anything like it and it has been the best experience of my life,” he said. “The support, across Facebook and Twitter, has been amazing.
“I was disappointed after beating the Mongolian as I thought I was on for a medal, but all the people that got in touch saying how proud they were of me really gave me a lift.
“It is not just that, people want to come back to the sport now.
“I have a mate who after three or four years out got in touch to say he was back on the mat the other night and this (London2012) has really helped me achieve what I wanted to do, to inspire people to come back into the sport.”
And Oates believes his London Games pain can provide the fire to drive him on to success in Rio in four years time.
“I have still got time left in my career though and I believe I can use this experience to spur me on to greater things,” he said.