London 2012: Colin Oates targets Olympic judo seeding

Colin Oates
Oates is Britain's highest ranked under-66kg player

European under-66kg bronze medallist Colin Oates has set his sights on being a top seed at London 2012.

The 28-year-old has yet to secure his Olympic place but hopes a successful tour of Asia can boost his prospects.

The top eight in the world will be seeded at the Games next summer and will receive a favourable draw.

"If I do well in Asia I might be able to put myself in a good position to get a better ranking spot," the current world 27 told BBC Radio Norfolk.

Oates, from Norfolk, will compete in the Japan Grand Slam this weekend before turning is attention to the China Grand Prix a week later.

And he is hoping to end an already successful year, which included a career-best fifth at the worlds, on a memorable note.

"I'd really like to be in a final," he explained. "It's a hard ask but I'd really like to be in a final by the end of the year to give myself a good spot in next year's rankings.

"If I can get into the top 16 I can get an entry into the Masters event in Kazakhstan [in January]. That's a high ranking points competition too which would give me a shout of a top eight spot which would make me a seeded player at the Games."

Oates had expressed concern at a shake-up of British Judo's setup earlier this year, but says he has not felt the affects of working with a new head coach.

"It's working OK," he said. "We've had some feedback and some home training camps.

"Overall I've got no real problems with the training at the moment."