By Mark Etheridge
Revenge is sweet… ask Team South Africa’s Commonwealth Youth Games judoka, Mosa Thetsane.
One of only two judo players in the Team SA squad which competed at the games in Nassau, Bahamas, Thetsane fought his way to a bronze medal in the -60kg category.
He suffered a knee injury in his very first fight against the host nation’s Davante Sweeting.
But the young Bloemfontein fighter, who only started judo six years ago under the guidance of Joan Redpath, mother of former national player William, is made of stern stuff, and later in the competition came back to beat the same opponent again.
Said judo manager/coach Preston Davids, who fulfilled the same role for Team SA at the AUSC Region 5 Games in Angola late last year: ‘After those Games in Angola he went on to take silver at the junior and cadet Africa Championships in Egypt this year in the -55kg.’
After losing his second fight, to Zambia’s Simon Zulu, who went on to win the gold medal, Davids (pictured with Thetsane above) said: ‘We had a strong talk after his loss and he won his next fight against Malawi’s Austin Chikwapula with an ippon score.
‘In the bronze medal fight he took on the Bahama player again, the guy that was responsible for his injury. He managed to keep his cool and came out victorious this time.
‘In the bronze medal final against William Bennett from Wales it was his toughest fight. It went a full four minutes, and then another four minutes into extra time when he managed to force a penalty to secure the fight and the bronze medal.’
The only way now for Thetsane is up, as a member of the FSSSI elite athletes support programme and a player who trains daily at the High Performance Centre in Bloemfontein.