Judo team to compete at Olympics qualifiers in SA

Four judo athletes will leave on Sunday for Cape Town, South Africa, for the African Judo Senior Championship.

Speaking in an interview on Wednesday, Judo Association of Malawi general secretary Osbourne Banda said the tournament has drawn judo athletes from across Africa and will be used as a qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Ndau (L) and Kathewera working out at Kamuzu Institute for Sports on Thursday

The four are  Emmanuel Ndau, Harriet Boniface, Chikondi Kathewera and Vera Boniface.

Ndau and Kathewera will compete in the 60 kilogrammes (kg) category, Boniface in the 48kg category and Benjamin in the 78kg section.

“Judo is about points and if we can perform well and get a minimum of 200 points, we can make it to Japan. When selecting athletes they look at world and continental records. We need to go there and perform with confidence,” said Banda.

The athletes have been drilled by judo expert Sensei Ryoma Kudo of Japan who is a reputed trainer.

Ndau who has competed in world competition in the UK, Kazakhstan and other Asian countries, expressed optimism ahead of the qualifiers.

“From the training I have undergone, I believe I am in good shape to represent my country well. I am focused and will apply what I have learnt from my trainers. I have enough experience not to be intimidated,” he said sounding confident.

Banda also expressed hope of a good performance.

“I have been watching them train almost every day and they all putting in a lot of work. They want to succeed and they can. It’s been impressive in training,” he said.

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