Cherotich Aims to Make History in Olympic Debut: Kenya’s Journey in Judo at Paris 2024

Zeddy Cherotich, Kenya’s trailblazing judoka, is set to etch her name in the annals of Kenyan sports history as she prepares for her Olympic debut at Paris 2024. Cherotich, the first Kenyan woman to qualify for the Olympics in Judo, has been steadily building towards this momentous event, showcasing resilience and determination in her pursuit of excellence.

Historic Qualification Journey

Cherotich’s road to Paris began with a standout performance at the African Senior Championships in September, where she secured a seventh-place finish, accumulating crucial points towards Olympic qualification. Undeterred by setbacks, she replicated her performance in April at the Cairo edition of the championships, solidifying her position as a formidable contender within the continental quota.

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Her final push came at the Abu Dhabi World Championship in May, where every point counted towards her qualification bid. Cherotich’s consistent dedication and strategic participation in these prestigious events underscore her readiness to compete on the global stage.

Ambitious Goals for Paris

As she gears up for her Olympic debut, Cherotich remains focused on achieving a flawless victory in her first bout of the women’s Under 78 kg category. The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) sergeant views this initial match as pivotal, aiming to establish a strong foundation for her campaign in Paris.

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“My target is to get a win in my first match. Getting that win will be key to my build-up on the global stage,” Cherotich affirmed, emphasizing the importance of starting strong amidst fierce competition.

Challenges and Determination

Acknowledging the formidable opposition she will face, particularly from seasoned judokas like Japan’s contingent, Cherotich remains undaunted. Japan, renowned for its judo prowess, presents a significant challenge, with athletes like Shori Hamada setting high standards in the discipline.

“This is my first appearance on such a stage. There are a lot of top experienced Judokas like Japan. I expect competition to be very strong,” Cherotich remarked, recognizing the intensity of the challenge ahead.

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As Zeddy Cherotich prepares to represent Kenya at Paris 2024, her journey symbolizes not only personal achievement but also national pride. Her historic qualification stands as a testament to her dedication, resilience, and the growing prominence of judo in Kenya’s sporting landscape.

With eyes set on making a mark in her Olympic debut, Cherotich embodies the spirit of perseverance and ambition that defines elite athletes. Kenya awaits eagerly as Cherotich steps onto the global stage, poised to leave a lasting impression in the world of judo at the Paris Olympic Games.