Colin Oates wins bronze in Jeju

Under 66kg Commonwealth Champion Colin Oates took a brilliant bronze medal today (Thursday) as fellow Glasgow gold medallist Ashley McKenzie (-60kg) placed fifth at the Jeju Judo Grand Prix in South Korea, setting the pair firmly on the road to Rio 2016.

Former European bronze medallist Oates earned 120 world ranking points while fellow European bronze medallist McKenzie picked up 60 points. With Rio 2016 on the horizon, every point this year counts as half towards Olympic qualification.

The judoka, who is currently ranked number nine at his weight, opened Great Britain’s medal account in Jeju, beating Baku Grand Slam bronze medallist Golan Pollack of Israel for the Jeju Grand Prix bronze by taking the lead with a yuko and adding a waza-ari by a hold down.

His journey to the podium involved successive ippon victories against Bogdan Iadov of Ukraine and Kenneth Van Gansbeke of Belgium to book a place in the semi-final against Baul An of South Korea which he lost by waza-ari. He then bounced back to win bronze by waza-ari against Pollack.

McKenzie began his competition entry with an ippon win against Yann Siccardi of Monaco and he then lost to Orkan Safarov of Azerbaiijan. However, he bounced back to win against Ludovic Cammartin of Switzerland for a place in the bronze medal match against Ganbold Kerlen of Mongolia that he lost narrowly by waza-ari to take fifth place.

Connie Ramsay (-57kg) beat Johanna Mueller on penalties in her first contest but was overcome for ippon by London 2012 bronze medallist Autumne Pavia.

Looking Ahead

Fighting tomorrow (Friday) in the -70kg category will be Glasgow European Open winner Sally Conway, who is currently world number seven at her weight. She will compete in the same category as Qingdao Grand Prix silver medallist Assmaa Niang of Morocco as well as Abu Dhabi Grand Slam winner Laura Vargas Koch of Germany who is the top seed in the -70kg category.

Saturday sees +78kg Commonwealth Games winner Adlington, Commonwealth bronze medallist Andrew Burns (-90kg) and Ben Fletcher (+100kg), who recently came back from injury to win bronze at the Malaga European Open, all in competition.

Jeju’s showcase falls in the middle of three back-to-back events as judoka bid for a World Ranking List points windfall to end their year on a successful note. This is the 11th and final Grand Prix of the season, which culminates next week in Japan at the Tokyo Grand Slam.

The estimated start time for the preliminaries is 09:00 South Korean time. (GMT +9 hours).

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Competition Schedule

Friday 10:00 Preliminaries on three mats

16:00 Final block on one mat Women: -63kg, -70kg Men: -73kg, -81kg

Saturday 10:00 Preliminaries on three mats

16:00 Final block on one mat Women: -78kg, +78kg Men: -90kg, -100kg, +100kg