After picking a bronze medal at the just-ended South African Judo Championships in Port Elizabeth, Sydney Mutero says his wish is to make his maiden appearance at the World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, in September.
Mutero was the only senior local athletes at the event and got bronze in the Under-90kg. The championships began with the juniors’ competition last Tuesday where Zimbabwe picked a gold medal and a bronze medal through Jayden Peterson and Nikki Economopolous. “Actually, there is the World Championships towards the end of September . . . I am going to be training for that,” said Mutero.
“I am going to take a week-long rest and start training on Monday with hopes that I get funding for the World Championships.
“I feel like right now I am at my peak and I am going to give it my best. This will be my first World Championships. Last time I could not go, I had a bad injury.”
Going into last week’s tournament, Mutero was aiming for the top spot but could only manage a bronze.
The 26-year-old said although he missed his target, the championships gave him an insight of other areas he needs to work on. Mutero is one of the several judokas the national association is considering for African Championships and African Games on next year.
For the World championships, the Judo Association of Zimbabwe are guaranteed funding for two athletes from the International Judo Federation.
And JAZ president Smart Deke said they were now looking at raising funds for two more athletes so that they have, at least, four representatives at the championships from September 21 to 28.