Zimbabwe’s first-ranked judoka Sydney Mutero is appealing for funds to compete at the Africa Judo Open Championships set for South Africa from July 2 to 7.
BY GARISH PHIRI
The Africa Judo Open Championship is a qualifier for the World Championship as well as the Olympics, hence, the 26-year-old’s desire to make the trip.
“I am going for the South Africa Championship next week and I am looking for sponsorship to be able to compete at the event. This is a start of my journey towards qualifying for the Olympics. Through this competition, it will help me to get exposure and it would also help in conditioning and prepare myself when I face other strong and experienced judokas in future,” Mutero said.
“My main challenge is financial, not only for the South African Judo Open Championship, but as well as for other future competitions to be held in Japan and France,” he said.
Mutero is confident that he will make it to the Olympics and fly the country’s flag high.
“I have been training very hard, up to four hours a day in the gym. Sometimes I spend about six to eight hours in training. I feel that chances for me to get a medal are very high. I am ready and am in good shape,” he said.
Mutero has been doing well in recent times, winning some medals.
“I have been in the game for a couple of years now. I have managed to win a bronze medal in 73kg category in the South Africa Judo Open Championship in 2010 and at the Zone 6 2010. I got a bronze medal in the 73kg category at the All-Africa Games in Maputo (Mozambique) in 2011. In South Africa men’s Open in 2013, I was ranked 5th -81kg.”