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Gambia’s 9-Year-Old Judo Gold Medalist Sets Eye on Olympics

Amie Kolleh Jabang

At 9, Amie Kolleh Jabang is already making a name for herself in judo and has her eye firmly set on becoming an Olympic champ one day.

At the Regional Judo Championship in the Senegalese town of Mbour in 2018, she shocked the watching crowd by knocking down a strong Senegalese opponent to win the gold medal.

“I felt so great winning my first gold medal for The Gambia. It gave me courage and motivation to do more,” she told The Chronicle.

Amie Koleh Jabang sets eye on Olympics

Amie Kolleh is known for being quick and flexible when taking on opponents. As she progresses in her career, she’s hoping that the standard of judo in The Gambia will improve so local judokas will be able to compete across the world.

“Doing Judo at my age gives me an advantage over others who did not practice it when they were at my age. I just want to keep working hard so that I can continue to do well in order to achieve the goals that I have set for myself,” a focused Amie Kolleh added.

She trains five days a week at the Python Judo Club in Sukuta under Luc Paziaud who described her as very active and smart. “She hates to lose. She doesn’t feel happy when she wins bronze medal. She always wants to be the best.”

Amie Kolleh in a training session
Young Amie Kolleh Talking to The Chronicle

At the club, Amie Kolleh and her colleagues are taught about speed and agility, greater endurance and self-confidence.

“I want to win gold for The Gambia at the Olympics and I am working very hard to achieve that. Judo is my dream sport and I want to excel in it,” she said.

“Everyone has to start somewhere, so just start,” she urged other young Gambian women.

 

 

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