SUMMERSIDE – George Madumba has a simple goal this weekend.
Madumba, who trains with the Summerside Toshidokan Judo Club (TJC), will be one of three P.E.I. representatives at the invitation-only Elite national championships in Montreal, Que., on Saturday and Sunday.
“My goal is to get first,” said Madumba, who just turned 17. “When you place first, then you are able to represent the country. . . and my dream is to represent Canada, but my No. 1 goal is to medal.”
Also representing P.E.I. are Alicia Thomas of the Lennox Island Judo Club, and R.J. Hetherington of the Rikidokan Judo Club in Charlottetown. All three P.E.I. athletes have earned their way there.
“You have to qualify by getting points at Level-A-ranked tournaments, like the Quebec Open, Ontario Open, Eastern Canadians and other tournaments across Canada,” explained Chris Townsend, head sensei at TJC.
Madumba brought home a silver medal from last year’s Elite national championships, and followed that up with a bronze medal at nationals.
“I’m very happy to go again,” said Madumba, who lives in Summerside. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.
“I worked hard and everyone else has worked hard with me to get me to where I want to go.”
The Elite national championships will feature under-18 and under-21 divisions. Madumba will compete in the under-18 class, and there are four other competitors in his -90-kilogram pool. The athletes will compete in a round robin, with each fight four minutes in length.
“He’s fought all the guys who are going to be there, so he knows them well,” said Townsend.
Madumba, who is ranked third in Canada in his weight class, is in his fifth year competing in judo, and there is no doubt in Townsend’s mind he has a bright future.
“He got his first win under his belt about three years ago, and he hasn’t looked back since,” continued Townsend. “He’s gotten bigger, faster, he’s studying judo and is becoming a great judo athlete.”