Judo looks ahead to 2020 Olympics


AFTER failing to win a medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics Games, the Zambia Judo Association (ZHA) says it has shifted its attention to the 2020 Tokyo Games.

ZHA general secretary Mabvuto Ng’uni said the association will soon begin preparing athletes that would qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

Ng’uni said the target of the association was to qualify at least five athletes if Zambia had to mint a medal in judo.

“It is unfortunate that the only judoka Mathews Punza failed to return with a medal. Sending a single judoka erodes the chances of grabbing a medal and it is the reason why we want to qualify more athletes in 2020. This is only possible when we begin the preparations now,” he said.

He called on the private sector to assist the athletes materially and financially to achieve the target.

He said the athletes needed more international exposure to successfully compete at prestigious events such as the Olympics.

“It is our hope that our athletes will compete in various regional, continental and world events prior to the Olympics. We have good judokas but lack experience,” he said.

Zambia has never won an Olympic medal in judo and hopes to break the drought in Tokyo.