Nigeria’s Enku Ekuta at the weekend won a gold medal at the fourth African Judo Open, which took place in Dakar, Senegal on Saturday. Ekuta defeated the 2019 African Games champion, Helene Dombeu of Cameroun in the final of the 63kg women category.
Ekuta sponsored by Accugas, a Savannah Energy Company, qualified for the final after beating Carolina Delgado of Cape Verde and Anastasiya-Alexander Nenova of South Africa in the preliminary pool.
This victory is the Akwa Ibom State-born judoka’s first continental open gold medal and the second time she will beat the 33-year-old Dombeu at a continental open.
The Nigerian champion won with an ippon after over three minutes of the keenly contested bout, which saw both fighters accumulating two penalties each.
The victory has now added 100 IJF world-ranking points to Ekuta’s profile, as she continues to garner points to secure qualification for the 2021 Summer Olympic Games, which holds in Tokyo, Japan.
Speaking on her victory, Ekuta said: “I feel excited winning my first continental gold. I want to thank God for this victory. I also thank my sponsor, Accugas, for ensuring that I had all the support I needed to participate in the competition. The Nigeria Judo Federation has also been supportive. My performance in Dakar will motivate me to work harder in upcoming competitions”.
The Head of Stakeholder Relations and Communication, Savannah Energy, Nkoyo Etuk, congratulated Ekuta for the victory in Senergal.
“We congratulate Enku Ekuta on the remarkable victory in Dakar. She was the only judoka from Nigeria who participated at the fourth African Judo Open.
“Enku’s performance has justified the confidence we have in her talent, which inspired the deal to sponsor her training and competition to ensure she qualifies for and participates at the 2021 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
We are optimistic that she will win more continental open to secure enough points to qualify for the Olympics”.