ZAMBIAN judokas are confident of a positive performance at the African Judo Championship in Tunisia as they hope to collect essential qualification points to book a place at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games.
The trio of Mathews Punza, Boas Munyonga and Abigail Chindele face an up-hill battle against other judokas from 30 countries.
Chindele in an interview from Tunis said she was determined to put up a hard fight on the mat to collect enough points and take Zambia to Brazil.
“I know it will be a tough challenge but I am ready to achieve the target of qualifying to the Olympics. It is a do or die situation, I am adequately prepared to take on any judoka,” she said.
She said it would be an inspiration if she qualified to the Olympics being a female judoka competing in a field viewed for men.
“Qualifying for the Olympics will be a plus for the Zambian women judokas. It is not easy to take up the field deemed to belong for men. But with the training and encouragement of my trainer Moola Lipimile, I am ready to take up the task,” Chindele said.
Munyonga said he still had a chance to redeem Zambia and seal a place at the Olympics.
“I have not lost hope that Zambia’s flag will fly high in Brazil. I believe we have adequately prepared for the tournament and will not underestimate any opponent. I will put in my best to collect enough points to qualify,” he said.
Coach Lipimile said the judokas were in high spirit and was confident they would put up a strong fight.
“It is definitely a difficult challenge for the athletes because each judoka shares the same mission of a Rio qualification. The job will not be an easy one but I am hopeful they can overcome the hurdle,” he said.
The tournament that has attracted 31 nations kicked off yesterday and ends tomorrow.