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Zambian Judokas shine in Ivory Coast

By MICHAEL MIYOBA

ZAMBIA’s top ranked judokas Steven Mung’andu and Simon Zulu ended the Abidjan African Open in Ivory Coast on an exciting note after scooping gold and silver medals respectively at the tournament which attracted judokas from 24 African countries.

 Mung’andu defeated Nkero Fernard of Gabon in the 66 kg category to win Gold while Zulu was outclassed by Renaldo Barros of Angola in the 60 kg final to settle for Silver.

The two medals scooped by Mung’andu and Zulu saw Zambia claim fourth position on the medal chart dominated by Angola who boast of having two gold medals.

The performances in Ivory Coast cheered Zambia Judo Association General Secretary Mabvuto Nguni who saluted the judokas for making the country proud.

Nguni said the medals won in Ivory coast would inspire the two judokas to aim high as they prepare for their next competition, Niamey Niger African Open which is set for June 24, 2023 in Niger.

He said the performance of the two Judokas in Ivory Coast vindicates JAZ as an association determined to make the country proud.

Nguni said the team’s success in Ivory Coast is an indication that JAZ’s is on the right track to achieve the objectives in the strategic plan. 

He said JAZ’s main objective is to ensure that Zambian Judokas qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games through hard work. 

Nguni said participating at various tournaments across the continent was key for Zambian Judokas to earn points to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

“To qualify is not an easy thing in Judo. We have the world judo tour where we have so many qualifiers in a month so many of them and if you don’t participate it becomes a problem for you to qualify because qualification is dependent on how many points you have during the Olympic qualification period and when you win a medal like Mung’andu who won Gold, you earn more points towards the Olympic qualification,” Nguni 

said.

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