By AFESEH APONG

Sports writer, Cameroon.

Cameroonian Judoka Helene Wezeu Dombeu, has increased her chances of qualifying for the 2020 Olympic games, scheduled for Tokyo, Japan. This follows her recent performance at the SANTO DOMINGO PANAMERICAN OPEN.

The competition that took place in the Dominican Republic two weeks ago, saw 31 year old Helene Wezeu grabbing a Silver medal in the _63Kg category. Helene was one of the four African judokas who took part in the competition, out 130 judokas (both males and females). Fighting in the _63Kg category alongside nine others, Helene showed just why she is a gold medalist in the just ended All African games. She finished second in her category, behind Garcia Estefania from Ecuador and ahead of Sanchez Ariela from the Dominican Republic.

Helene Wezeu Dombeu, Silver medalist in the Santo Domingo Panamerican open

Reacting on her performance at Santo Domingo Panamerican open 2019, Helene said “The competition is a qualifiers for the Olympic games in Tokyo. I won a silver medal, which gave me some good points on my road for the qualification. I lose in the final to Garcia Estefania who is third in the international rankings and I’m 50th in the rankings. So it was a tough fight, she is a good fighter”.

” If I trusted myself a bid more, I could have won the fight, but it ended up differently. I was really disappointed because I wanted the Dominican people to hear Cameroon’s national anthem for the first time because they don’t even know where Cameroon is found. But they saw our flag and I’m very happy about that”.

She continued “The competition was very tough because we are in the last year for the Olympic qualifiers. So all the competitions are getting very tough because everyone want to get the maximum  points”.

19 countries from three different continents took part in the competition, with four judokas from four African countries (Cameroon, Gabon, Mauritius and Cape Verde) participating.

Helene (first from the left) on the podium with other medalist, in the Santo Domingo open

With her silver medal won, Helene has gathered some good points in her quest to get an Olympic ticket. She still has a long way to go, with more competitions to participate in. Up next for Helene Wezeu, is another Judo open scheduled in Yaoundé, in the days ahead, before she will travel to Dakar, Senegal in November. She however is focused on taking part in more competitions, so as to gather more points.

Born on October 8, 1987, 31 year old Helene Wezeu Dombeu has won two gold medals in the last two All African games (in Congo and recently in Morocco). She has also grabbed four bronze medals in the African championship, (in Maputo 2013, Libreville in 2015, Antananarivo in 2017 and Le Cap in 2019), to add to her silver medal won in Common wealth games in 2014, in Glasgow.

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