Judo Team Makes Mark in Gabon

| May 7, 2015

Judo coach, Kgosipula Kaupa, has praised his team’s performance at the recent Judo Africa Senior Championships held in Gabon.

The trio of Gavin Bogopa, Thato Lebang and Min Young Kim were making their debut at the senior championships level. Though they returned without medals, Kaupa stressed that the team performed well.

“My team has competed well at the games. I should note that their performance was satisfactory considering that it was their first time to compete at senior level,” Kaupa said in an interview.

He said they chose to field young athletes, aged below 20, because they were about to aance from the junior to senior level. Kaupa said the idea was to give these young athletes a chance to experience the demands of competing in the senior level.

Bogopa, the team captain, who competed in the under-60kg, was knocked out in his second fight. His team-mate Lebang, competing in the under-73kg category, was also eliminated in the second match.

Kaupa said Lebang fought against the reigning African champion and did well considering that he managed to hold his own for the full five minute of the fight and did not lose on a pin down basis.

The only lady in team, Min Young Kim, competing in the under-63kg lost in her first fight. However, Kaupa said he was impressed by what Kim did in her fight.

He said women were given about four minutes of fight time on which Kim fought till the end. He said she was competing against a senior fighter who was way older than her. He said competing in the championship had afforded the team an opportunity to gain better stand in the African and world judo standings.

Lebang and Bogopa are now respectively ranked 16th in under-73kg and under-60kg, while Kim is ranked 24.

Kaupa said it was a big achievement for the young athletes, competing in their maiden senior level to secure such rankings.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: General

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