Sat | Dec 15, 2018

Davis grabs historic CWG judo gold

Published:Monday | November 19, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Dwayne Barrett (left), president of the Jamaica Judo Association, and General Secretary Szandra Szogedi (second left), share with Jamaica Olympic Association officials Ryan Foster (centre), chief executive officer; Christopher Samuda (second right), president; and director Laurel Smith upon their return from India, where judoka Tom Davis won two gold medals at the Commonwealth Games Judo Championship in Jaipur. Davis created history, becoming the first Jamaican representative to participate and win gold at the Commonwealth Games in Judo.

Fuelled by the drive and support of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), the country's sporting representatives continue to conquer new frontiers, with judoka Tom Davis claiming a historic gold medal, two for good measure, at the 2018 Commonwealth Judo Championships in Jaipur, India.

It was the first time that Jamaica was represented in judo at the Commonwealth Championships, and Davis, an elite judoka, won medals in the Masters and Seniors categories.

"Top of it, I was able to draw history for Jamaican judo, for which I am very pleased for our nation and for our sport," said Davis. "The Indian Judo Federation did everything they could to make us feel welcome, and that support, just like what I receive from the Jamaica Judo Association (JJA) and the Jamaica Olympic Association only leads to much better performances."

Continuing, Davis said it was a "proud moment".

"It's a proud moment to stand on the rostrum, let alone on top, and hear the national anthem," said Davis, who was sponsored by the JOA. "It is something I didn't experience very much or as much as I would have liked in previous years; it is massive."

His last medal was secured in the final, which meant the championship - which ended on November 10 - closed off with Jamaica's national anthem. Davis said this was special.

"The night before my last event, I was secretly very proud, thinking tomorrow it would be the last anthem played at the Commonwealth Judo Championships, what a nice way to end the competition. Still impetus to hear it again, until next time," Davis reminisced with JJA general secretary, Szandra Szodegi.

Ryan Foster, CEO of the JOA, said they are happy to facilitate history.

"The JOA is extremely pleased to continue to be part of and facilitate history. When Dwayne [Barrett, JJA president] and Szandra came to the JOA some months ago to share their plans, we immediately knew that their objectives were aligned to ours," he said.

"Judo, we believe, is on course to be part of our 10 in 20 plan," Foster outlined. "We will be launching soon our text funding campaign to further raise funds to facilitate our members' dreams. We are proud of Tom and his perseverance to make us proud."

Over 200 judoka from 11 countries participated at the championship, which saw Davis securing his first gold medal in the Masters with ippon wins in his first two matches, followed by outstanding tactical work in the final.