Cameroon judoka Dieudonne DOLASSEM is not necessarily a name that stands out on first glance of the -90kg category this weekend at the Marrakech Grand Prix.
DOLASSEM (white judogi) v Yersultan MUZAPPAROV (KAZ)

When you’re scanning through the -90kg field you can immediately identify the top seeds, former world champions and local hopes, but if you delve a little bit deeper then you realise that DOLASSEM has a story worth sharing.

The veteran is in fact the oldest judoka active on the IJF circuit at 39 years old and has no intentions of slowing down.

“My age is just a number to me,” said the London 2012 Olympian.

DOLASSEM, who turns 40 in September, lost his first contest on Sunday against the little-known Yersultan MUZAPPAROV (KAZ) in golden score by ippon but remained upbeat about his Olympic ambitions.

“I’m driven by Tokyo 2020 dream, that is my motivation, it’s a long dream of mine to fight in the home country of judo.

“I’ve never fought in Japan and it’s something every judoka aims for. I also aim to win the African Championships. I have 15 medals from the continental competition but I’m still searching for a gold medal.”

For DOLASSEM, judo was a sport which he was drawn to as a child and in time it offered him a new life which has enabled him to travel, to act as an ambassador for his country and to go on a lifelong journey of self-discovery.

“I started judo when I was 14 in my high school club, “ said the former IJF Athletes Commission member.

“I owe a lot to the influence of my father who practiced judo as part of his work. When I started judo I immediately loved the adversity, the feeling of fighting against another person.

“Judo has offered me a feeling of freedom beyond the constraints of life. It gives me the belief to be successful and to be a good person.

“I may me older than everyone else on the IJF circuit but I still believe that I’m capable of achieving great things in judo. I want to change the minds of people and especially in the context of judo, leading them to understand that age coupled with the will can produce good results.

“Beyond all things motivation allows a lot. I have a qualification as a driver of civil engineering equipment, and a training coach at our judo academy which is a full-time role for me but competing is still very important to me."

DOLASSEM believes that judo is beginning to make an impression in Cameroon and is quick to foree his role in the coming years.

“Judo in Cameroon is a sport that makes an identity and is built daily through the events of the IJF and other organisations where we talk about judo.

"The people of Cameroon are discovering more about judo every day and learning to appreciate it this beautiful and wonderful sport. I hope that everyone in my country can be touched and blessed with a life in judo like I have and there’ll be a time in the future when I devote myself to achieving this.”

See also
VIDEO
Guram Tushishvili eyes Tbilisi GP gold

25. Mar. 2019 / World heavyweight champion Guram TUSHISHVILI (GEO) ...

VIDEO
The Art of Judo - Episode 3 - Winters Dawn

22. Mar. 2019 / On the road to Tokyo 2019 WC and Tokyo 2020 Olympics, ...

News
Judo legend NOMURA Tadahiro unveils Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch

23. Mar. 2019 / Judo’s only three-time Olympic champion NOMURA Tadahiro ...

VIDEO
#JudoTbilisi2019 Promo

22. Mar. 2019 / Watch the Tbilisi Grand Prix live and free here on ...

Gender Equity
Husband and Wife to empower Women in Judo

25. Mar. 2019 / Johannes Daxbacher (GER) has been involved in Ethiopia ...

News
IJF and Moroccan Judo Federation ink contract for Veteran World Championships in Marrakech

21. Mar. 2019 / The International Judo Federation and Royal Moroccan ...

NEPAL
Judo as a second home for Orphans in Nepal

22. Mar. 2019 / For almost 10 years the Nepalese Judo Association has ...

Nippon Budokan, Tokyo
A day at the All Japan High School Championships

21. Mar. 2019 / A sunny spring morning in Tokyo, in which the cherry ...

VIDEO
TOP 5 IPPONS - Ekaterinburg Grand Slam 2019

20. Mar. 2019 / Watch the top 5 ippons from the Ekaterinburg Grand ...

Signing off from Ekaterinburg
Russian Grand Slam retrospective

20. Mar. 2019 / Rundown from Ekaterinburg

Morocco
Judo opens the doors of the South

20. Mar. 2019 / The recent successful organization of the Crans Montana ...

VIDEO
TOP 5 IPPONS - Marrakech Grand Prix 2019

20. Mar. 2019 / Watch the best ippons from the Marrakech Grand Prix ...

VIDEO
Natalia Kuziutina - Russia's Top Female Judoka

19. Mar. 2019 / Olympic bronze medallist Natalia Kuziutina (RUS) spoke ...

INTERVIEW EXPRESS
Shishime Ai (JPN)

08. Jun. 2018 / The next reigning world champion to be invited to answer ...

News
5 Key Takeaways from judo’s first Tokyo 2020 qualifier

06. Jun. 2018 / Highlights from Hohhot Grand Prix 2018

VIDEO
Judo for the World in Iran

07. Jun. 2018 / In April 2018, the International Judo Federation and ...

Meeting
JUDO: A Beneficial Cause

07. Jun. 2018 / 'Society should believe in sport as a beneficial cause ...