South Africa hosts the African Senior Judo Championships for the third time in the event’s 25-year history starting tomorrow and ending on Sunday (April 28).
Cape Town University's Indoor Sports Hall will stage a competition which involves 212 competitors from 31 countries.
The host nation will be looking to judoka such as Geronay Whitebooi, seeded fourth in the women’s under 48kg category, and Unelle Snyman, third-seeded in the women’s under 78kg, to earn places on the podium.
South Africa’s judoka stand seventh in the all-time medals table for this event with 29 medals, including three gold.
The table is topped by Tunisia, which has hosted four previous Championships in Tunis, including the first one in 1994 and last year’s, and which has a total of 165 medals including 65 gold.
Tunisia's Faicel Jaballah, winner of the men’s over 100kg gold last year, will defend his title, while Tunisia’s challenge in the women’s competition will be boosted by the presence in the over 78kg class of defending champion Nihel Cheikh Roouhou.
Morocco’s Fatima El Qorachi and Soumiya Iraoui of Morocco are back to defend their respective women’s under 52kg and under 57kg titles from last year.
Their female team-mate Assmaa Niang, the Rio 2016 Olympian, will also seek to retain her crown in the under 70kg class.
Meanwhile, their male team-mate Issam Bassou is also back and defending the men’s under 60kg title he won in Tunis in 2018.
Egypt’s defending men’s under 66kg champion Mohamed Abdelmawgoud is top seeded in South Africa, with second seeding going to the compatriot he beat to gold last year, Ahmed Abelrahman.
Algeria’s Abderrahmane Benamadi is top-seeded in the men’ under 90kg category, where he defends his title.
Of the competitors, 85 will be women, who will compete in seven weight categories – under 48kg, under 52kg, under 57kg, under 63kg, under 70kg, under 78kg and over 78kg.
The men will also compete in seven categories – under 60kg, under 66kg, under 73kg, under 81kg, under 90kg, under 100kg and over 100kg.