By ADRIAN MWANZA –
Zambia has pulled out of the 2018 Africa judo championships set to Tunisia in April due to financial constraints.
Zambia Judo Association (ZJA) General Secretary Mabvuto Ng’uni confirmed the development yesterday saying there were other competing demands that stood higher on their calendar.
The Tunisia tournament begins on April 12.
Ng’uni said his executive had decided to pass the Tunisia tournament because it was not part of the Olympic qualifiers.
“The association does not have the money to take the Zambian contingent to Tunisia and we are going to concentrate on tournaments that will help us qualify to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” he said.
He mentioned some of the targeted competitions as the world championships in Baku,Azerbaijan and the two African Open championships set for Cameroon and Senegal.
Ng’uni said the dates for the two African Championships had not yet been announced but was confident that the Zambian judoka would take part in the tournament.
“Our prime focus is to qualify for the Olympics so the tournament in Tunisia was just going to be a cost on our part because it is not even an Olympic qualifier,” he said.
He said five judokas would represent the country at these events as they stood a higher chance of minting medals ahead of the Tokyo games.
Ng’uni named the judokas as Mathews Punza, Andrew Kaswanga, Stephen Mung’andu, Rachel Masuku and Andrew Phiri.