The Nigerian judokas were discovered at the just concluded EKO 2012 National Sports Festival.
The Technical Director, Nigeria Judo Federation, NJF, Olakintan DeSouza, on Wednesday said that winning the maiden West African Judo Championships showed that the future is bright for the sport in the country.
Nigeria was represented by two male and two female judokas and won four of the 14 gold medals at the championships which was concluded on Tuesday in Lome, Togo.
He said in Lagos that Ghana, Togo, Republic of Benin, and Sierra Leone won two gold medals each, while Cote d’Ivoire and Gambia won one each at the competition, which featured nine countries.
Mr. DeSouza said that he is happy with the development, adding that what is needed now is financial and material support for the judokas.
The judo boss, who led the team to the event, said that the sport could project the country at the international scene, if well promoted.
“I am happy because this is the first time this competition is being organised and Nigeria came first by winning four gold medals in different weight categories.
“I was also elected as the Judo Referees Director for West Africa at the congress held on December 15. It is a great achievement as an individual and as a country,” he said.
Mr. DeSouza said that the contingent to the competition went on private sponsorship for the benefit of the country.
He noted that the judokas were selected from among the gold medalists at the 18th National Sports Festival concluded in Lagos on December 9.
He noted that three of them were from Lagos State, while one was from Delta.
The judokas, coached by Rabo Adikwu, are Jude Gugah (81kg) from Delta and Mohammed Rimibadi (90kg) in the male category; while the females, Adewunmi Akintunde (78kg) and Adebukola Adeyanju (57kg), are from Lagos State.