Judoka Andrew Kaswanga today begins his medal pursuit at the 2018 World Junior Championship in Croatia when he steps on the mat to face Madagascar's Eugen Matveiciuc in the -81kg event.
Kaswanga, who is on a four year training period at High Performance Centre in Budapest, Hungary along with Mathews Punza -66kg, Stephen Mung'andu -66Kg and Rachael Musuku -63Kg, is the country's sole representative in Zagreb.
The Zambian faces Matveiciuc in the first round with the winner advancing to face Tim Gramkow of Germany, who was given bye.
"I am ready for the competition and I will put in my level best so that I advance to the next stage. I am aware that competition would be tough but I am ready to face anyone and make Zambia proud," he said.
Kaswanga said in an interview that he had done his home work and would not be intimidated by his opponent whom he described as a good Judoka.
He said he had worked on conditioning his speed and perfect execution of his techniques which he had faced challenges in the past.
And national coach Moola Lipimile is confident Kaswanga would deliver and make Zambia proud.
"The athlete has potential to put Zambia on the map. Let's support him and put him in prayers. He has showed that he is ready to fight and I am sure he has a big chance of winning a medal for the country," Lipimile said.
Lipimile said in an interview that Kaswanga had shown zeal in the fights he fought in the region and Europe but was quick to add that there was need for him to remain disciplined and focussed to achieve his target.