Colin Oates World Cup bronze a step towards 2012

Colin Oates
Oates trains at Kumo Judo Club in Thetford

Britain's top under 66kg judo player Colin Oates has hailed his bronze at the Bucharest World Cup as positive progress towards London 2012.

The 28-year-old from Norwich defeated Frenchman Sebastien Berthelot in the third-place play-off.

"I was happy with the bronze but disappointed I hadn't got into the final," he told BBC Radio Norfolk.

"But to get bronze is really good, I beat a boy who has beat me twice so it's a step in the right direction."

Oates announced himself as an Olympic medal contender by taking bronze at April's European Championships, a moment the world number 31 has branded the beginning of his road to London 2012.

"I wanted to achieve something at a European Championships to prove I was on that level and now I've done that it is starting to feel a little bit closer," he explained.

"Now I've taken European bronze it feels like it's getting closer all the time and the build-up is definitely starting big."

Oates will face his biggest test ahead of next year's Olympics when he competes at the World Championships in France in August.