Although the arrangements prior to the departure for the championships were a great challenge, all went well for the Botswana Judo Federation.
BJF President, Estony Hattingh, explained that one of the challenges they faced was that they couldn’t go with some participants as they were school children and it was exam time.
Besides the challenges Botswana Judo faced before departure to South Africa, Hattingh stated that they are, however, impressed by their teams’ performances at the championships.
“I am very proud of my team and know that, with continued dedication and training, we can soar to new heights,” she said.
She further revealed that they left for the championships with little expectations because most of their team members were new and it was the first time for them to take part in the competition.
“It was so awesome to see some of the team members getting the medals because it is not easy when competing for the first time. In such big tournaments, you always expect those who have been in the game for some time to excel,” she said.
Botswana Judo managed to bring home 3 individual medals and a one team medal in various categories.
The BJF President, Hattingh, led by example and brought home a Silver medal.
Neo Kapeko and Estivan du Toit brought home bronze medals apiece. The team was the largest contingent ever from Botswana to participate at the event. In the one team category, Botswana combined forces with the Poles and their Zimbabwean counterparts and, in the process, gave the South African teams a run for their money.
The team ended up winning a silver medal.
The championships started on June 29 and took a week. The tournament was also the biggest ever to be held on southern African soil and attracted more than one thousand participants.
Other five African countries also took part in this year’s championships.
Hattingh, on the other hand, thanked all those who supported them in preparations for the championships, stating that their contribution to Judo is sincerely appreciated and has helped them attain their positive results.