HomeNewsJOA boss hails judo performance as monumental achievement

JOA boss hails judo performance as monumental achievement

PRESIDENT of the Jamaica Olympic Association, Christopher Samuda has hailed Ashley McKenzie’s silver medal-winning performance in the men’s judo competition at the Central America and Caribbean (CAC) Games as a monumental achievement in Jamaica’s sporting history.

McKenize created history on Saturday when he captured the country’s first-ever judo medal at the CAC Games. The 33-year-old McKenzie, who contested the final with a groin injury, lost 3-2 to Venezuela’s Ivan Salas in the -60kg in a very entertaining final.

Samuda told the Jamaica Observer that McKenzie’s performance demonstrated that once one works hard then anything can be achieved.

“This is historic for us because it is our first-ever medal at the CAC Games; and I must commend the president, Dwyane Barrett, and Szandra Szogedi for the wonderful work that they have done,” said Samuda.

“What I liked about Ashley is that he displayed the courage, the aggression, and also the professionalism as a judo athlete — and this is what the Jamaica Olympic Association encourages,” he said.

“We want our athletes to be aggressive, we want our athletes to be assertive but at the same time play within the rules — and that is what he did,” said the JOA boss.

Samuda added: “It is unfortunate that he had an injury which cost him the gold medal but I know that he is going to come back stronger and he is going to be more focused to ensure that he qualifies for the Olympic Games.”

Samuda said he is hoping McKenzie’s silver medal-winning performance will help to attract a lot more people to the sport of judo in Jamaica.

“This is a step in the right direction for us because what we always say is that ‘Success begets success’, and have encouraged our federations and associations to have, every year, a draft to ensure that we deepen and broaden the pool of talent from which we can select our national ambassadors.

“This is going to encourage the young athletes to come into the sport because there is success in the sport of judo, because they will realise that there is success in the sport and there are opportunities in the sport and we at the JOA have been investing in sports,” he said.

Samuda also shared that he is encouraging the various sporting organisations in Jamaica to go out into the rural parishes and scout for talent because there are a lot of hidden, talented athletes around the country who are yearning for the opportunity to display their skills on the international stage for the country.

“There is talent outside of Kingston — and that is what we must understand because we have to go islandwide for our talent,” he said.

“There are several young people in other parishes who are just waiting for a chance to present their country because they have the talent, and so we must find them. We also must find the methodology of reaching them and ensure that we bring them into the pool and give them the requisite training so that they can transition to the Olympic and World Championships,” Samuda ended.

No comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Welcome to JOA NeXXus Newsletter