Guba continues with serious preparations to hit ground running

By Duncan Mlanjira

As Coronavirus lockdown continues, Malawian UK-based Taekwondo Master Yamikani Guba is continuing serious preparations at home in order in order to hit the ground running in life after COVID-19.

Guba, a Sergeant in the British Military, was meant to compete for the North East Open Championships that was supposed to held in Newcastle on April 5 but was cancelled when Britain declared its COVID-19 preventive measures by executing the lockdown.

“I am using every free time away from military duty in training at home during these difficult times because I don’t want to be caught in a rusty form should it be announced soon of the lifting of the lockdown,” Guba said.

“The training is keeping me in good spirit as an athlete and at the same time it is also one way of keeping away the boredom of just staying idle at home.

“It also gives me the hope, objective, mission and self motivation knowing that once the COVID-19 lockdown ends, all competitions will be on go.

“So as an athlete I have to keep myself fit and our trainers are also serving us with some self training tips at home while we are in the lockdown.

“My message back home for all athletes is that they should keep fit, stay safe and stay home in the fight against COVID-19,” he said.

Guba, aiming high

In March, Guba managed added another accolade to his awards treasure trove by winning the silver medal at the Yorkshire Open Championships held on Sunday in Halifax.

This was achieved even though he was competing in an unfamiliar category of +80kg as he normally competes in senior heavyweight category of +87kgs.

The format was changed for this specific tournament by merging the two and he explained that he found it difficult to adapt to the change.

Proud Guba

“Some of personal training style I am doing now is to also prepare myself for any eventuality like what happened in March during the Yorkshire Open Championships.”

A week before the Yorkshire Open Championships, Guba won two gold and two silver medals — 1 in Kendo and another in Taekwondo — during the British Army Martial Arts Open Championships.

He won two gold medals fighting in Taekwondo individuals and a Taekwondo individuals Poomsae (patterns) and the silver in patterns Taekwondo and Kendo individual.

Guba with his medal winning teammates

He has now accumulated six medals this year alone. He won his first gold attained in heavyweight category +87kgs last February during the Scotland (Lanarkshire) Open Taekwondo Championships, held at the Wishaw Sports Centre.

Altogether, he has now accumulated 246 accolades that include medals, awards, trophies and recognitions in martial arts in general both at international and British national competitions.

Coronavirus alert

Guba was nominated for Malawi Sport Awards’ Sportsman of the Year alongside men’s footballer Gabadinho Mhango and women footballer Tabitha Chawinga. 

He arrived in the country to attend the Red Carpet gala but the award went to Tabitha, who was also voted as Best Overall Sports Personality for her excellent performance at her club in China which made her be nominated for Confederation of African Football (CAF) Player of the Year award.

Guba, represented Malawi Taekwondo team in World Taekwondo Championship held in Manchester on May 19 last year and also in the 2016 Rio Olympics qualifications which was held in Agadir, Morocco, had said he is hoping to one day further promote the sport in Malawi.

Coronavirus alert

Originally from Blantyre District, he also holds a 2nd Dan in both Judo and Karate and a 1st Dan in Kendo.

He learnt his Martial Arts at BYC at the age of 10 at the inspiration of his family members and later relocated to UK in 2004 to study the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM-postgraduate) and thereafter he decided to join the British Army in 2007.

Coronavirus alert

He joined the British Army Martial Arts team in 2008, competing in both Taekwondo and Kendo at international and national level.

In 2016, the British military awarded Guba with the title of the best senior fighter for its Taekwondo team in which he is the captain.

Based in Larkhill at the Royal School of Artillery as a Phase 2 Instructor, he has achieved many medals over the years on both national and international level of fighting.

Coronavirus alert

In November last year, Guba won the silver medal at the National Taekwondo Club Championship on Sunday in Nottingham just after 11 days of achieving the same feat at the London International Open.

Guba has also be previously honoured by the British military as he was named the third best British Military Sportsperson of the Year achiever.