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Motivated Mva aims to leave her mark at the Games
- Updated: July 7, 2014
By Mark Etheridge
She’s the only woman in Team South Africa’s six-strong judo squad at the Commonwealth Games but very little fazes Sinothanda Mva ahead of the Glasgow showdown later this month.
In fact she’s even more motivated since her recent seventh spot in the -52kg category at the recent African Championships in Mauritius.
“I’m a bit disappointed with my performance at the African champs,” she admitted to Road to Rio 2016. “I could have done better but what it’s done is to motivate me even more to perform like a champion at the Commonwealth Games.
“Qualifying for Glasgow and being the only female is a huge achievement for me, even a bit overwhelming but I’m ready and steady,” she added.”
Mva hails from Port Elizabeth but moved to Tuks in Pretoria three years ago and is now studying for a degree in education, when she’s not involved in the rough and tumble antics on the judo mat.
She can thank her older brother, Thobelani, for her success in the sport that now sees her as the country’s top ranked junior and senior in her weight category.
“The reason I started judo was because I always had to say goodbye to my older brother when he had to leave for tournaments! So at first it was because I wanted to travel with my ‘big bro’ but after I won my first medal I fell in love with the sport!”
At her first SA champs she came fourth, and broke down in tears because she didn’t get a medal, but big brother was there to buy her a judo-themed T-shirt and cheer her up. “It was at my second SA’s where I got a bronze and I was just the happiest kid ever.”
Last year she ended fifth in the senior African Championships, and the previous year won silver at the 2012 Zone VI Games in Zambia. “All of these achievements have been possible because of my amazing coach, Nikola Filipov.”
Bulgarian born Filipov was the judo coach for Team South Africa at the 2012 London Olympics.
With the Games just over two weeks away now, Mva will be dwelling on a motto she tries to live her life by: “You’re not a failure if you don’t make it, you’re a success because you tried.”