Oates to support Paralympians bid for gold

Colin Oates is hoping to put the disappointment of not winning a medal at the recent London 2012 Games by working with three Paralympic GB members.

Last week, Oates finished seventh in the 66kgs category after he lost to the class winner Lasha Shavdatuashvili but is now playing a key role in training fighters Ben Quilter and Marc and Dan Powell.

"I feel more alive in a judo arena than anywhere else and I'm happy to do what I can to help – they're not just my training partners, they're my friends as well," said Oates told BBC Sport.

He added: "Marc and Dan have got more of an outside chance, but if they get the same kind of reaction from the crowd as I did, you could see something special from them."

Oates also explained that the rules are essentially the same for both the Olympic and Paralympic judo competitions although the latter can be more intense and endurance based.

"I've heard that due to the performance of our players at the Games, we've had 5,000 people log on to the British Judo website looking to find a local club," he told BBC Norfolk.

"That's a massive figure, for 5,000 people to either be looking to get back into judo or taking it up, that's going to make a big impact on the sport for the future."

Judo is the only martial arts sport on the Paralympic calendar and is played by athletes who are blind or have a visual impairment. Visitors staying in central London hotels can still purchase tickets for the event and all of the bouts are being held at the ExCel centre.
 

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