BY GERALD MUTSVAIRO
ZIMBABWE’S rising teenage judoka Mujaji Tapiwa Musariri is confident of making an impact at the African Games in Morocco later this month after recently bagging a gold medal at Judo South Africa Open Championships in South Africa.
The 17-year-old St George’s College student is one of eight local judokas set to participate at the African Games, which will run from August 16 to 31 with over 6 000 athletes from across the continent expected to compete in 29 sports disciplines.
The Zimbabwe Judo team will be accompanied by coach Simbarashe Mashayi and includes Christi-Rose Pretorius, Janine Kayaya, Lazarus Arufandika, Majaji Tapiwa
Musariri, Moses Mutendi, Sydney Mutero, Benjamin Mashayi and Pearson Stephen.
Musariri, who recently lifted the country’s flag high after striking gold in the junior 66kg category at the South African Open Judo Championships, which was
recently held in Vanderbijlpark said he was now focused on the upcoming African Games.
“I am a very strong believer in the phrase ‘you reap what you sow’. So if we carry on with the hard training that we are currently having, I believe we can
bring medals home. The squad is putting good effort and I am sure we will have good results,” Musariri told The Sports Hub in an interview.
“The preparations are going very well. We are trying to push harder to get a good result at the African Games. The training has been focused on improving our
fitness level, I am enjoying the sessions and everything is going well.”
Musariri was one of the four local judokas to return with a medal from the South African Open Judo Championships along with Kayaya, who scooped a bronze in the girls 63kg, and Arufandika (bronze in 63kg) and Mutero, who won a bronze medal in the 90kg senior men.
Judo Association of Zimbabwe (JAZ) Smart Deke said the solid performances put in by local judokas shows that the future of the sport in the country is very
“Looking at the performance, it tells that we have a very bright future as the local judo community. The seniors and juniors have done very well and we are
happy that they have brought medals home something that is great,” he said.
“The South African Judo Open Championships helped us a lot; more athletes are now confident and some are working on perfecting their technics. There were five
of them and we collected four medals. Now we are focusing on the All Africa games and our hopes are very high.”