TWO of the country’s finest judo talents, Tatenda Guta and Liberty Arufandika, have been selected to represent Zimbabwe at the International Judo Federation (IJF) Senior World Championships to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from August 26 to September 1.
REPORT BY SPORTS REPORTER
The two judokas are expected to leave the country for the South American country tomorrow with Arufandika competing in the Under 60kg category on Monday before Guta gets into action next Friday.
They will be accompanied by their coach Patrick Mutagi, the former African Judo champion and the Judo Association of Zimbabwe (JAZ) president Debi Jeans, who is also a world championship judo referee.
Jeans confirmed the duo’s participation at the championships yesterday, but said they were still waiting to get Brazilian visas for them to make the trip.
Guta and Arufandika head for the global championships in high spirits after winning a bronze medal each at the South African Open Judo Championships held last weekend in Port Elizabeth.
In an interview with NewsDay Sport yesterday, Guta said they had prepared well for the upcoming championships.
“We have been working very hard for the World Championships and hopefully we will do well. Liberty Arufandika will be competing in the Under 60kg, while I’ll be competing in the Under-90kg. Liberty will fight on the 26th and I will contest on the 30th of August in Rio de Janeiro,” said Guta.
The participation of Guta and Arufandika at the IJF Senior World Championships is a giant step for JAZ who are hoping to field judokas at the 2016 Olympic Games which will also be staged in Rio de Janeiro.