Uganda National Judo Team Head Coach, Janek Novak (of the Czech Republic), who is also attached to the Police Judo Club, believes that the competition which involved players from Germany, Australia, New Zealand and other players will help Ugandan players learn crucial skills.
Three Ugandan judokas have successfully returned from the city of Perth in Australia where they competed in the 2022 Perth Oceania Judo Open.
Two players Ivan Bakitya and Zubeda Talikaza (both from the Police Judo club) traveled alongside a coach, Ivan Galiwango for the Perth Oceania Open 2022, from October 29 to October 30 in Australia (city of Perth).
A total of 127 judokas participated from 32 countries including Uganda.
The 22-year-old Talikaza was the outstanding player, playing three rounds in the middleweight (70 kg) category.
In the first round, she beat New Zealander Ella to advance to the second round.
She fell at the second hurdle to hosts Australia before narrowly losing the third round to a German player to gain 182 world ranking points as she finished 7th.e globally.
“I gained international exposure and learned different fighting styles; to attack and defend. Even better, I’ve earned some world ranking points and I’m ready for more exposure,” Zubeda revealed upon his return.
On Tuesday evening, a welcome party was held at the Uganda Judo Federation headquarters in Rubaga, the birthplace of judo in Uganda.
Uganda Ludo Federation President Captain Herbert James Musiitwa accompanied by National Team Head Coach Janek Novak (from Czech Republic), Kenneth Ssekiranda (Coach) was present.
“Zubeda and Bakitya have represented us well. It’s good international exposure for them and a spotlight for Uganda as the sport of judo continues to grow. Players managed to get world ranking points. I thank the Ministry of Education and Sports as well as the National Sports Council for the necessary support given to the team to travel,” noted Captain Musiitwa.
National team head coach Janek Novak, who is also attached to the Police Judo Club, believes the competition which involved players from Germany, Australia, New Zealand and other players will help the Ugandan players learn crucial skills.
The tournament in Australia helped our players a lot as they learned unique skills and fighting styles from highly exposed players. They don’t come back the same and that helps the clubs and the national team to develop further.
Janek Novak, Ugandan judo head coach
In the women’s middleweight (70 kg), Anka Pogacnik of Slovakia won gold.
Australia’s Aoife Coughlan took silver and Germany’s Marlene Galandi bronze.
In the lightweight men (73 kg) where Bakitya competed, the gold went to Martin Hojak (Slovakia).
Frenchman Benjamin Axus won silver and Briton Eric Ham settled for bronze.
The Ugandan delegation returned home safely and will quickly turn to other national and international tournaments.