CECILIA ZULU, Lusaka
ZAMBIA Army on Saturday won the Japanese Ambassadors Judo tournament relegating Zambia Police into second position.
The Army garnered 60 points at Olympic Youth Development Centre in Lusaka.
Zambia Police managed 34 points while Zambia National Service (ZNS) finished third on 24 points.
It was an Ipong show as both the men and women won in their respective categories.
Both teams beat ZNS.
Ipong men and women walked away with gold medals and trophies.
Stanford MungÃ¡ndu of Zambia Police was crowned the best pre-cadet in the boysâ€™ category while Mercy Bowa of Zambia Army won the girls category.
Philip Likowa won the boysâ€™ best cadet award while Mary Kanyemba was queen in the girlsâ€™ category.
ZNSâ€™s Batista Inabayo was crowned judoka-of-the-tournament while Esther Sandu won the womenâ€™s best judoka award.
The junior best award in the boysâ€™ category went to Joshua Nyondo while Naomi Muzungu scooped the top prize in the womenâ€™s category.
Meanwhile, Japanese Ambassador to Zambia Kiyoshi Koinuma pledged continued support towards the development of judo.
Koinuma urged judokas to continue working hard if they are to reap medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
â€œI would like to continue promoting interaction of people between our two countries not only in the economic fields but also in the fields of culture, arts and sports,â€ he said.
Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development Vincent Mwale said Government is committed to support sports programmes aimed at building the country.
â€œIt is, therefore, a policy of this Government to support any programme that is meant to develop sport in the country,â€ said Mwale in a speech read for him by the ministryâ€™s chief sports development officer Gibson Muyaule.
Mwale said Government recognises the importance of sport.
He said hard work and discipline are key elements for athletes wishing to excel.
The minister also urged the Zambia Judo Association executive to continue working hard and provide leadership at all times.
â€œYou are one of the associations where we have very little or no wrangles at all. I appeal to you to come up with strategies that will grow the sport for the benefit of Zambian s especially the rural populace,â€ he said.
CECILIA ZULU, Lusaka