•The two judokas are training at Kasarani, are preparing for the games under the tutelage of Lawrence Karisa
•The two said the experience they acquired at the Commonwealth Games, the World Judo Championships and the Grand Prix will go a long way in improving their chances.
Kenya judokas Carlos Ochieng and James Mashobo will bank on the experience they acquired at the International High-Performance Camps to improve on Kenya fortunes at this month’s All African Games in Morocco.
The two, who are among the 14 judokas training at Moi International Sports Centre (MISC), Kasarani, are preparing for the games under the tutelage of Lawrence Karisa. Ochieng said they hope their international experience will catapult them to stardom as they seek a ticket to next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
“Training at the camp was quality and I feel it has transformed me into a better player. I have been able to improve on my speed work and timing. I have also shared the same with my teammates. If we can be able to do those things that I learned, then we stand to post good results,” said Ochieng, who attended the camp in Montreal Canada last month.
Mashobo, who was in Italy on a similar mission for two weeks, said despite learning a lot on how to improve on his speed, the exposure of training under top coaches and working with experienced judokas from across the globe also impacted positively on him as a player.
“Despite working on improving our techniques, speed was a priority. It’s also impressive that the coaches are also emphasising on the same. My association and engagement with a number of top judokas in the world also boosted my confidence,” said Mashobo who lost in a bronze fight at the Africa Championship in Madagascar in 2017.
The two said the experience they acquired at the Commonwealth Games, the World Judo Championships and the Grand Prix will go a long way in improving their chances. “We are lucky that we have been able to acquire some experience in a number of events that we have participated in the last three to four years. We have competed against strong opposition and this has, in the end, has played to our advantage despite dismal results,” Ochieng added. Ochieng took part in the 2017 World Championship, Grand Prix meetings in Budapest and Africa Championships.
Coach Karisa was also upbeat over Kenya’s chances in the games, adding that the team has trained well. “ We have what it takes to bag medals and compete with the best in Africa,” he said, adding: “My confidence with this team is building every day.”
“Obviously the international exposure that a number of players have received in the last three years has given us a massive boost and now I know we can beat the best players in Africa.”