US Open: 56-year-old Nigerian Olatunji Disu Shines Among 500 Judokas
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By Joel Ajayi
The 33rd edition of the United States Open Judo Championship must have come and gone but the memories of being the only medal winner will remain fresh in the memories of a 56 years old Nigerian, Olatunji Disu.
The journey to the silver medal award for 56-year-old veteran Nigerian Judoka, a police officer by profession DCP Olatunji Disu at the just concluded US Open Judo Championship was indeed rough but ended in a celebration for the entire Populous black race.
He is indeed a champion, victor, and goal-getter who did not allow challenges to stop him from winning a medal at the World Judo Open Championship in the US. The challenges ranging from going into such a magnitude event without a coach to guide him, because of the visa issues, but the super-cop made it to theUS; he saw and conquered because of his determination and unflinching love for the game of Judo.
Team Commander of Nigeria Police Intelligence Response Team, IRT, DSP Disu, without any iota of doubt defiled every odd to ensure that Nigeria’s green and white flag flew higher at the just world event.
He soared among more than five hundred veteran champions from across the world, as the fans were raising the Nigeria flag high in the foreign land courtesy of efforts put in place by Nigerian Judoka.
It was an outstanding, noteworthy extraordinary effort, facing over 500 Judokas from different continents at the world fiesta, most especially world number one, Woods Glen of the United States to achieve the feat, after participating in the veteran minus 100kg category of the competition of the veteran division and made a podium finish.
His love for the game is second to none, having started playing the Game of Judo back in his secondary school till university days, he has represented his state, Lagos in many national championships.
In his youthful days, DCP Disu clinched two gold medals at the 1990 edition of the National Sports Festival in Bauchi and a recipient of two gold medals at the few Nigeria Police Games he participated in.
No wonder, the former Lagos Judo Association chairman has been promoting the games in Nigeria and beyond.
Also, in November 2021, Disu won gold at the first veteran championships organised by the Nigeria Police, through his office as the Chairman, NPF Judo Association.
Notwithstanding his busy schedule, the Super-Cop who heads the reformed crime bursting department, Intelligence Response Team , IRT, has been an ardent practitioner of Judo over the years and the Silver Medal at the world level indeed will propel him to do more for the growth and development of the game in Nigeria.
However, Judo sports is a tremendous and dynamic combat sport that demands both physical prowess and great mental discipline with so many health benefits, both psychological and physical, especially in children.
Judo is an excellent activity for young kids because it builds healthy and robust muscles early on, improves their cardio, and lowers their cholesterol. Children who participate in judo have reduced risk of childhood obesity, heart disease, and osteoporosis, even as they become adults. It also sets the foundation for them to become healthy and active adults who appreciate the importance of physical activity.
Meanwhile, Sports is an important and integral part of the upbringing of youths. Judo sports are one of the sports that need to be propagated more in the country to have a better peaceful society.
Importantly, this added feat by DCP Disu in the faraway United States, as he conquered over 500 Judokas to bring silver laurel to Nigeria will remain indelible in the annals of Judoka Federation and posterity will remember him for his adroitness in the game of Judoka, having made Nigeria proud in youth and still stand out in this his golden age, DCP Disu has set a record that would take time to break. Disu should be inducted in the Nigeria Judo Hall of Fame because he deserves it.