Teenage judo star Jasmine Martin played a vital role in the significant medal contribution that her code delivered for Team South Africa at the AUSC Region 5 Games in Luanda, Angola that featured teams from around Southern Africa boosting her drive to realise her Olympic dream.
The 16 year judoka has been making waves throughout the continent recently as she continues to grow and push towards eventually representing South Africa at the Olympic Games, however despite having a successful 2016 she understands that there is a tough road ahead of her.
“I was really happy with how everything went in 2016,” the Queensburgh resident said.
“I won a lot of medals and finished the year being ranked inside the top 20 in the world which was a huge positive, but I know that I have to move up a weight category into my Olympic weight category which means the girls are bigger and stronger.
“It is going to be really hard but I am really looking forward to the challenge that the next stage of my career is going to pose,” a down-to-earth Martin added.
Following a long 2016 Martin’s motivation was at an all-time high when she took part in the Zone 5 Games in Angola’s capital Luanda and with her victory in her weight category she became the first South African women to earn a gold medal at the games.
“It was great to finish the year off with a gold medal at the Region 5 Games and it really just motivates me to carry on performing well and working hard,” she continued.
Martin mentioned early in 2016 that her aim is to win a medal at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, as well as giving her parents a medal in her home town’s Commonwealth Games in 2022 however putting in the hard yards now is something she is ready to do.
“Moving up into a different weight category means that I am going to have to get faster and build more mass to compete but I have Prime and the Elite Athlete Development Programme to help me along the way.
“2017 is going to be another really big year for me as I want to win both the Under-18 and the Under-21 titles at the Africa Championships because those count towards a large number of ranking points towards the World Championships.
“The African Champs is the event that I am really looking forward to this year because of the amount of points that I can get from performing well.
“It is going to be another big year but I am really looking forward to the challenge and hoping it will be just as successful as 2016,” an upbeat Martin commented.