Ochieng, Wanjiku out to shine in Judo Championship
Carlos Ochieng and Hannah Wanjiku are determined to defend their titles in the second edition of the Eastern Africa Cadet and Junior Championships that will be held at the Kasarani Indoor Arena this weekend.
In an interview with Citizen Digital, the 18 year old Ochieng who plays in the under 60kgs category said that his target during the three- day Judo Championship is to lay a strong foundation to qualify for the 2020 Olympics Games in Japan.
The event will run from December 1-3.
Ochieng, who holds a black belt pointed out that his strongest opposition will be from defending champions Burundi who jetted in the country on Sunday.
At the same time, the soft spoken Wanjiku who started off her career with gold in 2015 when the East Africa tournament was hosted in Burundi is confident that her experience would come in handy in the competition. Her main target will be to qualify for next year’s Africa Championships as she eyes an Olympic slot.
“I have been working on my training very much. I will not let anyone take my title. Last time in Burundi I beat their player and battled my compatriot at the finals for the gold medal. This time round we are hosting the tourney and it would be bad if we are beaten at home,” Ochieng who recently bagged a bronze medal in the East Africa Junior Cadet Championships in Zanzibar,said.
Coach Zablon Masha is confident that the Kenyan team will scoop the overall title.
Masha is aiming to use the host advantage to enter all the 51 players he has in camp in all categories to pick all available medals in the championship.
“When we went for the tournament I had a lot of inexperienced players. Coming back at home we started entering our players in various Government sponsored tournaments. They feared to attack and did not know how to defend. They had also not mastered the rules properly but that is now settled,” said Masha.
On his part, Burundi’s Sports Director, Karabagea Paterne, said that it would be hard to beat Kenya who has players in all the seven junior cadets categories compared to his team which has 15 players.
About five Eastern Africa Nations are expected to grace the three day championships.
Champions Burundi and Sudan are already in the country while Ethiopia, Zanzibar and Tanzania are expected later this week.
At the inaugural event in Burundi, Kenya bagged 22 medals compared to Burundi’s 32
For Citizen TV updates
Join @citizentvke Telegram channel
Video Of The Day: | CANCER COUNTRY | Pain of cancer patients across country [Part 1]