Father and son flag in judo champs

East London father and son duo Ronnie and Drake Strydom achieved podium finishes after competing in the Commonwealth Judo Championships held in India from November 5 to 11.

Fifteen countries took part in the competition at the Sawai Man Singh Indoor Stadium. The pair participated in their first international competition, while representing the country.

“To go and compete at that level was wonderful and getting a medal is a bonus,” Ronnie said.

WINNING THROWS: From left: Drake Strydom, Sensei Chris Esteves and Ronnie Strydom at the Commonwealth Judo Championships held in India

Drake, a grade 7 pupil at Husdon Park Primary School, received a bronze medal in the under-50kg pre-cadet category for under-14s. He is ranked number three in SA.

Judo is a form of martial arts which involves getting your opponent to land on their back to score points. Points may also be scored if the opponent lands on their side.

To qualify for the competition, Ronnie had to participate in four other competitions where the points were tallied to determine national ranking.

“I’m currently ranked number two in the country. I compete in the masters division of 50 to 54 years, in the under-90kg weight category,” said Ronnie, who was the pre-cadet team manager with 14 boys and girls from around the country.

“One must first do a manager’s course for the competitions. As a manager, you then deal with all queries, arrange accommodation, meals and transport,” he said.


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