17.09.2003 Sports News

Judo Association hopeful of at least a medal at games

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Accra, Sept 17, GNA - The Ghana Judo Association is optimistic of continuing its long held tradition of winning at least a medal at the All Africa Games scheduled for Abuja in October.

In an interview with the GNA Sports, Koichi Kamohara, the Japanese coach of the national judo team said the present crop of athletes in camp are so determined to carve a notch for themselves that he sees no country standing on their path.

He said what is more motivating is that the games would be used as a qualifier for next year's Athens Olympic Games since any athlete that reaches the medal zones qualifiers for the Olympics.

Mr Kamohara said currently there are six athletes in camp and will soon be pruned down to three to represent the country in Abuja. "What gives me the confidence is that just recently we met the same athletes at an international competition in Burkina Faso and won two silver and three bronze medals.

"Invariably it is the same athletes that we are going to meet in Abuja and I do not see any shift in my team's medal aspirations." He said the team has been focused on a mission having been in a non-residential camping for a month.

Mr Kamohara said the training has been very hectic with three training sessions a day to put the team in tip top shape before we finally leave to compete with the best of Africa.

He said at the moment everything is going on as planned with the shortfalls of the team being worked.

"Presently the crop of athletes in camp have the right technique and attitude needed to compete in a demanding sport like Judo. "What we presently building is their body weight to ensure that we are not caught napping hence we have instituted a comprehensive body building programme to put them in shape."

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