The First Judo Japanese Ambassador’s Cup

On Friday, September 07, 2018, the Embassy of Japan in the Republic of Kenya in collaboration with the Kenya Judo Association (KJA) held the Judo Japanese Ambassador’s Cup. The event was held at the Kasarani Sports Centre Indoor Arena. The Judo Japanese Ambassador’s Cup is part of the Sport for Tomorrow program which is an initiative led by the Government of Japan that focuses on cooperating with developing countries with an aim to promote sport and the Olympic and Paralympic movement in both tangible and intangible ways.

The judo cup was attended by the Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Kenya, H. E. Mr. Toshitsugu Uesawa, the Principal Secretary, State Department of Sports Development Amb. Kirimi P. Kaberia and officials of the Kenya Judo Association led by the president, Mr. Shadrack Maluki.
(Left to Right) Amb. Kaberia, Amb. Uesawa and Mr. Maluki
In his opening remarks, Amb. Kaberia noted that Japan and Kenya are great friends. He also expressed gratitude to the Government of Japan, for the offer of Kurume city to host the Kenyan athletes as they prepare for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Ambassador Uesawa remarked on the significance of the Tokyo Games. He noted that it was in Tokyo 1964 that Kenya won her first medal in the Olympic Games and it was his hope that Kenya would get a medal in Judo during the 2020 Games. Mr. Maluki expressed his hope for growth and future collaboration between Japan and the Kenya Judo Association.

Also in attendance were 15 Judo clubs totaling to 150 judokas. The judokas included teams from the Kenya Defence Forces, Kenya Prisons, Kenyatta University, Embassy of Japan and judo clubs from areas such as Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Kiambu, Kajiado and Nakuru.
Group photo of the judokas, Amb. Uesawa, Amb. Kaberia and officials of the Kenya Judo Association

The competitors participated in three categories: cadets (15 – 17 year olds), juniors (18 – 20 year olds) and seniors (21+ year olds).
Some of the judo competitions in progress

The overall winners of the cadet category was the Diani Judo Club from Kilifi County, from the juniors category Kajiado Judo Club from Kajiado County and from the seniors category, the Kenya Defence Forces.

Mr. Maluki takes a photo with the winners of the cadet category

Amb. Kaberia awarding trophies to the winners of the juniors category

Amb. Uesawa awarding trophies to the winners of the seniors category

It is the hope of the Kenya Judo Association to advance the techniques of judokas so as to increase their chances of being considered for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.