East African silver medalist Sabiti Kudura bagged two trophies after beating all his four opponents at the interclub judo trials at the Wandegeya dojo on Saturday as players begin preps for the All-Africa Games in August.
Kudura and colleagues had not been to any competition since they were involved in a bus accident in Dar es Salaam where they had won a total of six medals in March.
Fifteen of the expected 30 players turned up, which made the weight matches tricky but national captain George Ssekiwunga commended his peers: “We doubted whether this tournament would happen because we lacked the funds but the players’ level of competitiveness and passion has really impressed me.”
David Katana, the judo association general secretary, shared the captain’s view: “Their spirits are high and I expect a more in the next trials.”
More trial tourneys
Ssekiwunga, one of the Black Belts who doubles as coaches, said they are planning to have more such trial tournaments as they prepare for the All-Africa Games, which are a qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Benjamin Ludigo’s right arm that suffered a grave muscle tear in the accident is almost healed except his little finger. He kept off the mat because he still feels some pain but hopes to join others soon.
“The accident really affected us but the players are slowly regaining their mood. That they can do good throws like the hushimata is amazing.”
Kudura, another Black Belt, said “we need sponsorship to keep training and develop our talents.”