Colin Oates takes bronze in Samsun, Turkey

Today was the first day of the Samsun Grand Prix in Turkey and it saw a strong British presence as Colin Oates won bronze by beating a home judoka.

As one of two London 2012 Olympians of British origin in action, Oates swept through to the -66kg quarter-final after throwing Bar Raufman for ippon in the first round, while two yukos up.

In the next round he was caught by Altansukh Dovdon of Mongolia and briefly dropped into the repechage in which he bounced back to hold Tornike Tatarashvili of Georgia down for ippon.

This set up a bronze medal match against Sinan Sandal of Turkey that Oates won by waza-ari, followed by a hold down for ippon.

The wildcard Turk had earned his place earlier by beating the number one seed to earn his place in the bronze medal match against Oates and aside from placing fifth in the African Open in Casablanca and gold in the Balkan Championships, Sandal had mainly medalled and placed in his home country.

GB's Oates takes the bronze at -66kg! A flashy Sumi Gaeshi followed into Osaekomi does it for the Brit.

Oates said: “It feels good to be back on the rostrum after some disappointing results in other events.

As for the Commonwealths, I think was already a strong contender even before today, but we will have to wait until after the Europeans when it is officially finalised.”

Jean-Paul Bell, who coached the men’s team in Turkey, said: “A really good performance from Colin in a strong competition. He was professional and focused all day. Highlights were his strong gripping, good movement and solid ne-waza.”

Fellow Olympian Ashley McKenzie (-60kg) made an impressive start as he gripped the Junior European silver medallist Grigor Ivanyan of Armenia in an armlock for ippon.

However, he suffered a narrow defeat against the Casablanca Open gold medallist Adrien Raymond of France with the Briton picking up two penalties to the Frenchman’s one.

This put paid to any rematch against Olympic medallist Ludwig Paischer, an opponent that McKenzie has faced and beaten before to gain his European bronze medal.

Instead it was Raymond who met Paischer and picked up the bronze.

It was a disappointing day for Nekoda Davis (-57kg) who threw two-time African champion Ratiba Tariket of Algeria for yuko, but exited early after losing to Emilie Amaron of Switzerland.

Kim Renicks (-48kg) submitted to an armlock for ippon conducted by Irina Dolgova of Russia, despite being a yuko up and exited early on.

Tomorrow sees fellow Olympian and -70kg British Champion Sally Conway (-70kg)  fly the flag for Great Britain alongside Faith Pitman (-63kg) and Tom Reed (-81kg).

Action begins at 10:00 Eastern European Time (EET) (08:00 in the UK) with preliminaries taking place over three mats in the morning and the final block is at 14:00 in the afternoon.

The competition takes place in the Yasar Dogu Arena in Samsun, Turkey.

It will be streamed live at, with British Judo providing regular updates on Twitter, Facebook and the website

Words by Donna Richardson. Images @IJFMedia Team Jack Willingham and Ben Scrase