The Diab trio – a judo family making history at championship

Keagan Diab throws her brother Raydon to the ground during a fight.

Three siblings from Krugersdorp, all with a passion for judo, are heading to the South African Judo Championships in the Free State, where they will have the opportunity to fight side by side.

And although Keagan, Raydon and Garren Diab are related, they each have their own pre-championship jitters and different judo goals.

Raydon, the oldest sibling, started judo because he was the smallest in his Grade at school and wanted to get some self-defence training. Judo has been his life for the past 12 years. He is currently 17 and knows that he will have to cut down on training when he is in matric. However his passion for the sport has never died down and he wants to participate in the African Judo Championships even if he needs to do it while in matric. With his black belt, that dream is not that far out of his reach. In the past he has dislocated his shoulder and hurt his ankle, but he has never given up on the sport.

Two students from the club. Shawwal Bagaria holds Moagi Molefe in the air before she throws him down.

Garren is the middle child, and started judo because he was inspired by his brother. He said that he learnt discipline

through judo and now, no-one messes with him in school, as they did previously. He wants to get his black belt as soon as he’s old enough (he’s in Grade 9 now, but needs to be 16 before he can qualify). He dreams of also participating at the African Judo Championships soon, but wants to compete in the kata category (a demonstration of judo throwing techniques, grappling and self-defense).

Keagan was born into a family that loves judo. And she did not let being a girl get in the way of becoming a judoka herself. Her family loved watching her brothers participate and this inspired her to start doing judo. She is currently the best judoka in her weight and gender group in South Africa and therefore qualifies to go to the African championships. She recently won district trials and therefore qualifies to go to the South African Open Judo championships as well. Last year, she went through a very difficult time. She was in top form and then broke her arm during training about 3 weeks before the SA Championships. This was a huge setback for Keagan, but she is back this year, in good form. She worked through her disappointment and did not give up.

All three of them are excited about the opportunity that lies in front of them – they will represent the West Rand Judo Association at the South African Judo Championships that will take place between 2 and 8 July, in the Callie Human Hall at the University of the Free State.

“We just want to go and have fun. We’ll balance it out with hard work,” said Keagan. All three of them attend St. Ursula’s School.

The WRJA is proud to say that these judokas aren’t the only ones from Krugersdorp that will be participating at this championship.

Some of the judokas from various local schools who attend the 4 Sport Judoka School and will be participating in the event are:

• Laerskool Kenmare: Kyle Wolter, Morne Venter, Nico Pieterse, Otto van Eeden, Danie Enslin, Hendrik Alberts, Anthony Mommsen and Christiaan Theron

• St Ursula’s School: Raydon, Garren and Keagan Diab

• Hoërskool Noordheuwel: Dewald Schultz

• Hoërskool Monument: Franco Lottering

• Krugersdorp High School: Moagi Molefe

The Diab siblings have many achievements under their belts, including:

• 2010 – Raydon and Garren won a gold medal for their Kime No Kata at the SA Open Kata Championships

• 2011 – Raydon and Garren won a gold medal for their Kime No Kata at the SA Open Kata Championships

• 2012 – Raydon and Garren won a gold medal for their Kime No Kata, and a bronze medal for Katame no Kata at the SA Open Kata Championships

• 2013 –Keagan and her little partner won a silver medal for their Kime no Kata. Raydon and Garren won gold for their Kime no Kata and silver for their Katame no Kata. Keagan won gold at the SA Primary Schools Championships (novice)

• 2014 – Keagan won a silver medal for Individual fighting at SA Open Judo Championships, and a silver for Kata. Raydon and Garren won gold for both their Kime and Katame no Kata and a silver medal for Creative Kata.

• 2015 – Keagan won a silver medal for Individual fighting at the SA Open Judo Championships, plus a bronze for Kata.

Raydon and Garren won silver for their Kime no Kata and bronze for their Katame no Kata

• 2016 – Keagan was in super fighting form, but unfortunately broke her arm during training about 3 weeks prior to the SA Championships. No fighting and no Kata for Keagan. Raydon and Garren won gold medals for both Kime and Katame no Kata, and Raydon went on to win another gold for Nage no Kata and a silver for Juno Kata with his friend and training partner, Dewald Schultz ( from Hoerskool Noordheuwel).

• 2017 – The judokas have all trained hard. No serious injuries so far this year. Keagan is fired up for Individual fights and ready to make up for last year.

All three have been awarded district and Gauteng colours on numerous occasions, and also have Judo SA colours (SA Champions).

Do you perhaps have more information pertaining to this story? Email us at [email protected] or phone us on 011 955 1130.

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  AUTHOR
Bianca Pindral
Journalist

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