THE Judo Association of Zimbabwe is tomorrow expected to host the inaugural Ambassador’s Cup Team Event at Hartmann House Jubilee Hall, St George’s College. The event is being sponsored by the Embassy of Japan. Participants will take part in different weight divisions with the women battling it out in the Under-60kg while for men there are five categories ranging from the Under-60kg and over 81kg.
JAZ president Debi Jeans said the competition is an opportunity to take the sport to the people and expose their athletes to competitive competition.
“It comprises four teams in six weight categories made up of one female and five males named after the judo principles of honour, respect, courage and discipline.
“It’s an absolutely wonderful opportunity to bring them together, as you would appreciate resources are scarce.
“It’s an opportunity for exposure for our athletes and to get our sport out to the people.
“It’s good for our juniors to see the calibre of seniors fighting at this level.
“We have the Youth Games (Region Five) in Angola. Two years ago we did one medal so this is very good to prepare for the Games,” said Jeans.
The event will bring together fighters from Dzivarasekwa, Highfield, Mabvuku, Police, Prince Edward School and Rolf Valley Judo Clubs.
International competitors such as Lazarus Arufandika, Sydney Chibwayi, Blessing Muparo, Alan Ganji and Alfred Nago are some of the participants expected to compete.
Jeans said they are grateful to the Japanese Embassy for sponsoring the event before adding that they are looking forward to an interesting competition.
“We are very grateful to the embassy. On behalf of the executive committee and all our judokas, I am delighted and deeply appreciative of this wonderful gesture afforded us by the Embassy of Japan.
“We look forward to welcoming everyone to come and watch the Olympic sport of judo in action. Whilst the competition for medals promises some exciting fights, we are trained never to lose sight of the martial art aspect; the way of discipline, self control, respect for one’s opponent, humility and friendship.
The penultimate moment will be the awarding of the Ambassador’s Cup Trophy to the best fighter of the day.
An athlete who encompasses and has demonstrated the true spirit of judo. This will be decided by the Japanese Ambassador himself,” said Jeans.
The Minister of Sport and Recreation, MakhosinI Hlongwane, and Ambassador Yoshi Hiraishi are some of the guests expected to grace tomorrow’s event.