Mabulu grabs bronze, kata team wins three medals in Madagascar | SASCOC - SASCOC

Mabulu grabs bronze, kata team wins three medals in Madagascar


By Mark Etheridge

Commonwealth Games bronze medallist three years ago, Siyabulela Mabulu fought his way to anther medal of the same hue at the recent African Senior Judo Championships in Madagascar.

Twenty-two countries took part in the championships, held in the capital of Antananariva and the South African kata team also pieced up three bronze medals.

Fighting in the -66kg division Mabulu (pictured above on the podium) took on Youssour Diallo of Mali and Amed Abelrahamn of Egypt in the preliminary rounds, winning the first and losing the second.

In the repechage round he took on and beat the host nation’s Herikanto Kevin Andriamanoelina, winning with a convincing ippon score.

In the bronze medal bout, he beat Morocco’s Abderrahmane Boushita with a waza-ari score. It’s Mabulu’s joint best finish at an African Championships, having also won bronze in Dakar, Senegal six years ago.

A total of 13 judoka travelled to the island off the east African coast, 10 men and three women.

Said manager Pierre Maritz: ‘South Africa ended 11th in the medal standings. The players did their utmost best to be up there to compete at a tournament of this magnitude.

‘For some it was the first time they were at a Senior African Championships and the stage was set for them to perform at their best and they did.

‘Unfortunately the team picked up a stomach bug, which I believe played an influence on some of the results.’

Apart from Mabulu’s third place there were also four fifth-placed finishes and two seventh place finishes.

In the men’s division Kevin Keuvelaar did this twice (+100kg and open), Nicolaas Louw ((-73kg) and Dale Whittaker (he was Olympian Zack Piontek’s training partner in Rio) in the -81kg). The two seventh spots went to Lwazi Mapitiza (open) and Kayla Cameron in the women’s -63kg division, the latter in her first senior African Championships.

It was also a first senior championships for junior Devan Stemmet (-66kg), Matthew Chase (-60kg) and Louw.

The three bronze medals for the kata team came in the Nage-no-Kata, Katame-No-Kata and Kime-no-Kata divisions.

Next big occasion in the judo code is the African Junior Championships and a South African team will leave for Egypt on 4 May.

In the picture below are SA kata team representatives (from left to right): Harm Venter, Louw Schultz, Gerhard Schultz


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