Gambian Judoka Wins Gold Medal at British University Championship
Gambian Judoka, Faye Njie has become the second African fighter to win Gold Medal in the British University Championship in Sheffield, after Ghana’s Emmanuel Nartie.
Held over the weekend, the day-long championship brought together six universities in the UK. The Finnish-based Gambian fighter represented the University of The Gambia Sports Association and began his triumph in the first round of the 73kg against George Caleap of Romania.
In the second round, Faye outshined Louis Delsol of Bath University. The fight lasted one minute and a half when the Gambian garnered 10 points throw. The third-round opponent for Njie represented Anglia Ruskin University. It took the 25-year-old Faye just a minute to score twice before bringing down another Bath university opponent, Oliver Nash.
In the final round fight, Faye squared-off against Andrew Serdega of Latvia. The fight was very tight and went on an extra time. After one minute of extra time, he was able to throw a 10-point score to emerge champion.
“I feel so good. This competition was quite important because I was able to have many matches and I tried techniques that I don’t usual try at high level. So I can say this competition is more like a preparation towards Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” said Faye.
In an interview with The Chronicle, the Technical Director of the Judo Association, Luc Paziaud praised Faye for the victory.
“We are not surprised. This is an excellent one for Gambian Judo. He is our best athlete for now despite the fact that he’s based and training outside of the Gambia. We hope he will continue to succeed in all these international competitions. At our level, we don’t have enough money to support his training programs. But he’s definitely spending his time, energy and money to make The Gambia proud.
Faye Njie is the first Gambian to have qualified to the Olympic Games. He competed in the men’s lightweight category (73 kg) in Rio de Janeiro. He won a silver medal at the 2015 All African Games in Brazzaville, Congo. He earned a continental quota spot from the African region as the only Gambian judoka in the IJF World Ranking List of May 30, 2016.
Breaking down judo’s qualification system
As with all International Judo Federation events, seven men’s categories and seven women’s categories will be contested at the Tokyo 2020. A judoka must be in the top 18 on the IJF World Ranking List to qualify directly for the Games as judo now has parity between the number of men and women who will compete at an Olympics. If one country has more than one judoka inside the world’s top 18 rankings, then their National Olympic Committee will select which judoka will represent them with a maximum of one judoka per weight category per country.