British Judoka Colin Oates (Reuters) - Reuters
Olympic Games > London 2012

Brits shine in Euro judo championships

Brits shine in Euro judo championships

By Eurosport
Last update The 22/04/2011 at 12:25 -
By Eurosport - The 22/04/2011 at 12:25
Britain's judokas showed they mean business at the European Championships in Istanbul, picking up two bronze medals on the opening day.

Colin Oates and Sophie Cox both climbed the podium in Turkey, and it was all the more special for Oates as it was his first major international medal.

The 27-year-old has previously medalled at World Cup European Open events but finally took -66kg bronze on the big stage by beating Frenchman Pierre Duprat.

“It’s not quite sunk in yet that I’ve earned a bronze medal, I’m still in shock,” said Oates.

“In a way I think my injury (at the start of the year) helped me as I’ve had time to really focus on technical work and refine my style.

“I’m not just happy with the way I performed and the medal itself but I was relaxed and felt really strong.

“I overpowered fighters such as the Ukranian, Serhiy Drebot – and he’s a really physical judoka - which is something I haven’t really managed before.”

While this was Oates’ first major international medal, Cox is no stranger to the podium and she collected her fifth European Championships medal in Turkey.

The 29-year-old can now boast two silvers and three bronzes from the competition as she saw off the challenge of Finland’s Jaana Sundberg.

“Every contest was a really hard-fought battle and took all my energy,” the Athens Olympian said.

“It’s been a long road for me since returning last year, but I was always targeting the Europeans and I’m really pleased to have won the bronze.

“The fact that the bronze is my fifth medal at the event makes it extra special, especially with my last being in 2005 before I took a break from the sport.”