Zack is one of the most talented Judoka's in South Africa! Not just one of my son's role models in Judo but of the Judo mat as well, what a nice friendly down to earth young man !
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SA judokas come back empty-handed from African Championships
- Updated: January 20, 2016
By Mark Etheridge
Commonwealth bronze medallist Zack Piontek’s bid for a Rio Olympics spot hit a temporary hiccup at the weekend.
The big Pretoria judoka travelled to Tunis, Tunisia for the African Open in a bid to pick up more international ranking points.
But he lost his first fight, meaning there was no opportunity to win more points.
After a first round bye in the -90kg category, he came up against Slovenia’s Jesenko Cetic in the second round of Pool B. The competition featured four pools in this category.
Explains Piontek: ‘I was basically in control for the whole fight until I carried out a weak attack and then he managed to throw me with a counter-attack and I lost by an ippon score.
‘I actually thought the throw was worthy of a smaller score but the referee didn’t think so. So I’m sorry to say but that was the end of my Tunisian trip.’
Cetic went on to end third in the category and clinch a bronze medal.
‘The following trip that I’m now considering is a training session in Japan between 1-20 February,’ he told Road to Rio 2016.
Piontek was one of two South Africans in action, the other being Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Siyabulela Mabulu of the Eastern Cape. He went out in the preliminary round of the -66kg division. He lost to France’s Alexandre Mariac who would end the Open with a silver medal.
Picture of Piontek courtesy of Reg Caldecott