NATIONAL taekwondo welterweight champion Michael Sidija is upbeat about his chances of retaining his title when the country's top fighters converge in Bulawayo for the national championships next week.
Sidija, who is also the national team captain, is drawing a lot of confidence following his recent success in Malawi where he won a gold medal.
"I won a gold medal in Malawi and I am now hopeful of winning again at the national championships.
"In the past I used to get a lot of stiff competition from Knowledge Muchakati in the welterweight but he has now retired to focus more on coaching.
"But I will not relax because I expect the guys like Munashe Matawo to give their best.
"I am aware that this championship will attract only the best fighters but I hope the results from Malawi will keep me focused," said Sidija.
The 24-year old Sidija was among the eight fighters who returned from Malawi this week carrying a host of medals. Bezel Madanha was the top fighter in the lightweight category.
Female fighter Merryln Mangoto also returned home with a gold medal following her success in the welterweight fight while Fungai Magombo and Warren Chakanyuka settled for silver medals.