Punza makes Rio team

ZAMBIAN judoka Mathews Punza landed himself ticket to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games thanks to a boardroom decision much to the delight of his national team coach Limpimile Moola and the National Olympic Committee (NOC).
Punza qualified after the International Judo Federation (IJF) updated its data base and the Zambian sneaked through after he earned enough points to make the cut in the continental qualification quota.
The Kazakhstan-based judoka joins his female compatriot Abigail Chindele who was a sole Zambian qualifier in judo for the summer Games in Rio after a series of tournaments in which they under achieved.
And Moola expressed delight with the qualification saying Punza worked hard in pursuit of the elusive Rio spot and that it was well deserved.
“This clearly shows the caliber of an athlete Punza is and is a result of hard work.
He has proved that he can do well because despite not winning the qualifying tournaments he garnered enough points to make the continental quota,” Moola said.
NOC treasurer Boniface Kambikambi, who confirmed Punza’s feat, said it was gratifying that judo had two athletes at the Olympic Games and was hopeful that swimmers will also make it to the show piece.

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