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Kenya judo completely out of depth in Morocco

KENYA judo just discovered their abysmally low standards at the 12th African Games, their bloated team of 10 participants turning out embarrassing results.

The Kenyan men and women managed only a total of three match wins, as majority were bundled out in elimination bouts of their competition. It was a wake-up call for the sport, among those whose domestic and regional competition, if indeed carried out, is least publicised.

TOP: Team Kenya judo contingent to the 12th African Games at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani before their departure to Morocco are with Principal Secretary State Department of Sport Amb Peter Kaberia (fourth from left, front). Above: Carlos Ochieng’ Atieno, the only Kenyan toi have won to judo bouts in Rabat. Photos/MOHAMMED AMIN

TOP: Team Kenya judo contingent to the 12th African Games at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani before their departure to Morocco are with Principal Secretary State Department of Sport Amb Peter Kaberia (fourth from left, front). Above: Carlos Ochieng’ Atieno, the only Kenyan to have won to judo bouts in Rabat. Photos/MOHAMMED AMIN

Criteria of selecting those qualified for credible competition at the African Games must have gone awry. Virtually the entire Team Kenya suffered the boxing equivalent of ‘first round knock-out’ in their judo bouts in Rabat. The news remained ‘hushed’ because judo took place in a fleeting two days — Aug 16-17 — before most of the rest of Kenyan teams arrived in Morocco.

But the manner of blowing away of the Kenya judo team left a lot of questions as to why they should have been at the Games which, for several other sports, required regional qualifications to sift out low standards. Had Kenya been subjected to a qualification, the number of their team would, at the very least, have been reduced. This is in fact because Kenya belong to the Zone Five (5) region together with Egypt, the runaway top judo team in Rabat which reached eight finals and won four Gold medals.

Esther Kayume Ikiugu - women's 63kg. Photo/MOHAMMED AMIN

Esther Kayume Ikiugu – women’s 63kg. Photo/MOHAMMED AMIN

Well known in Kenya circles is that a sport with a powerful ‘Godfather’ in Team Kenya composition decision-makers, enjoys leeway on overloading with its members, Kenya contingents to major world Games such as the African Games and Commonwealth Games where qualification parameters — unlike at the Olympic Games — aren’t strict. As Kenya judo luck would have it, its head of administration is the No. 2 person in both the National Olympic Committee (NOCK) and Team Kenya leadership at the 12th African Games.

The wretched Kenya judo team, strangely, included two entries in the same weight category (women’s 63kg), Kimberly Ombisi and Esther Ikiugu, and it wasn exactly because they cound not decide which of the two was a hot prospect for Gold.

James Mashobo Ganzo - men's 73kg. Photos/MOHAMMED AMIN

James Mashobo Ganzo – men’s 73kg. Photos/MOHAMMED AMIN

In judo, the ‘Ippon’ (point) is awarded for a successful throw performed with control and power, or for a pin lasting 20 seconds. This is the manner under which Kenya judokas found themselves as they suffered their defeats in Morocco. Below is a full report on the performance of the Kenya judo team.

Judo was not alone in the poor performance by Team Kenya in Morocco. Upcoming, a review of other  low standard presentation of: Wrestling, Weight lifting, Karate and indeed, Boxing …

Dianah Rebah Kana - women's 70k. Photo/MOHAMMED AMIN

Dianah Rebah Kana – women’s 70k. Photo/MOHAMMED AMIN

JUDO (Kenya Results):

 Carlos Ochieng’ ATIENO

1/4 final

Winner: Fraj DHOUIBI (Tunisia) 1- S1 Carlos Ochieng’ ATIENO (Kenya)

1/8 final:

Winner: Carlos Ochieng’ ATIENO (Kenya) 1 –  S1 Edward Khoayane SELLO (Botswana)

Eliminations:

Bye – Carlos Ochieng’ ATIENO (Kenya)

Repachage:

Winner: Moussa DIOP (Senegal) Ippon 1 – S1 Carlos Ochieng’ ATIENO (Kenya)

Men – 66kg:

John Nderitu KAIRABI

1/8 final:

Winner: Lazarus ARUFANDIKA (Zimbabwe) Ippon – 1 John Nderitu KAIRABI (Kenya)

Eliminations:

Winner: John Nderitu KAIRABI (Kenya) 1 Ippon – 0 Frederic OLYMPIO (Togo)

Men – 73 kg:

James Mashobo GANZO

Eliminations:

Winner: Cheikhna DIAKHITE (Mauritania) Ippon – S2 James Mashobo GANZO (Kenya)

Men – 81 kg:

Samson WAMBI

Eliminations:

Winner: Eleazer DODOO (Ghana) Ippon – 0 Samson WAMBI (Kenya)

Men – 91kg:

Johnson Muthee KIRIMI

1/8 final:

Winner: Abderahmane DIAO (Senegal) Ippon – 0 Johnson Muthee KIRIMI (Kenya)

Eliminations:

Bye – Johnson Muthee KIRIMI (Kenya)

Men – 100kg:

George Kimani MBURU

¼ finals:

Winner: Luc MANOGHO (Gabon) Ippon – 0 George Kimani MBURU (Kenya)

Eliminations:

Bye – George Kimani MBURU (Kenya)

Repachage:

Winner: Prince Samuzu KOZI (DR Congo) Ippon – 0 George Kimani MBURU (Kenya)

WOMEN – 63 kg:

Esther Kayume IKIUGU

Eliminations:

Helene Wezeu DOMBEU (Cameroon) Ippon – 0 Esther Kayume IKIUGU (Kenya)

Women – 63 kg:

Kimberly Okwisa OMBISI

Eliminations:

Winner: Jasmine MARTIN (South Africa) Ippon – S1 Kimberly Okwisa OMBISI (Kenya)

 Women – 70kg:

Dianah Rebah KANA

 Eliminations:

Winner: Hafsa YATIM (Morocco) Ippon – 0 Dianah Rebah KANA (Kenya)

Women – 78kg:

Ramadhan Shagilah ODACHO

Eliminations:

Winner: Sarah MAZOUZ (Gabon) Ippon – S2 Ramadhan Shagilah ODACHO (Kenya)

Medal Count:

Rank NOC Total
1 Egypt 4 0 4 8
2 Morocco 2 5 4 11
3 Algeria 2 3 6 11
4 Tunisia 2 3 3 8
5 Gabon 2 0 1 3
6 Cameroon 1 1 2 4
7 Senegal 1 0 1 2
8 South Africa 0 2 0 2
9 Angola 0 0 2 2
  Mauritius 0 0 2 2
11 Chad 0 0 1 1
  Congo, The Democratic Republic of the 0 0 1 1
  Djibouti 0 0 1 1

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