Over 100 athletes competed in the judo the martial art to mark the 21st edition of the annual Japan Week celebration at the D. G Hathiramani Hall of the Accra Sports Stadium last Saturday.
The championship, christened “The Japanese Ambassador Championship,” was aimed at showcasing the Japanese culture and fostering unity to promote cultural exchanges between the Ghana and Japan, as well as strengthen partnership between the two countries.
There was a thrilling display by the athletes of various categories of the judo championship.
Winners of the Championship
In the boys category, Yaw Kelvin Boato emerged winner of the under-eight years when he beat Stanley Plate. Tintom Zakaria defeated Jessy Dan Kwah to win the Under-10 year category.
Alhassan Joseph also defeated Clinton Teye to be crowned champion of the 12-year category, with Evelyn Dzato winning the girls 12-year-old category after beating Ophelia Danso.
In the senior categories, Zeo Agudu won the 60kg category when he beat Daniel Quansah. Bismark Yartey, Rabbi Pambele, Flying Officer Eleater Dodoo and Maxwell Amekudui emerged winners in the 73kg, 81kg and open weight categories, respectively.
Present at the event was the Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Tsutomu Himeno, who was enthused by the splendid performances of the emerging stars who exhibited real judo talent.
He said their performances showed that they had a bright future.
He commended the Sports Federation, especially the Judo Association, for their contribution in the development of martial arts and the lesser known sports in the country.
Mr Himeno advised the athletes to concentrate on the game by respecting its ideologies.
“Martial arts involves self-control, discipline and togetherness to build a prosperous sporting discipline and so I urge all of you to honour and respect the game”, he advised.
He also encouraged the athletes to do their best to qualify to represent Ghana in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in his country, saying doing so would be a great achievement for the athletes.
He assured the athletes and the Sports Federation of his support to promote national development in the country.
“I will assure all athletes and the sports federation to have confidence in martial arts as my embassy and I are ready to do our best to build a strong martial arts sports which will promote national development in the country”, he said.