* His 8th medal just this year alone — 5 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze
* I fought Smith Xander from Focus Taekwondo in the semifinals
* It was a close match which I lost by 1 point difference in the last few seconds of the last round
* He is now preparing for the British National Taekwondo Championship next month
By Duncan Mlanjira
Malawi’s only heavy weight professional taekwondo athlete, Yamikani Guba has now attained 8 medals this year alone after winning the bronze medal at the Ultimate Summer Championships on Sunday, August 21 held at Metrodome Arena in Barnsley, UK.
Guba, a Sergeant in the British military under the 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, now has 5 gold medals, 1 silver and 1 bronze and having enjoyed such a good 2022, he says he is now looking forward to the British National Championship in September at the English Institute of Sports in Sheffield.
“I fought Smith Xander from Focus Taekwondo in the semifinals and it was a close match which I lost by 1 point difference in the last few seconds of the last round.
“This competition meant a lot to me as it is a great opportunity to me and other athletes in preparation for the British National Taekwondo Championship next month.
In the 2021 edition of the British National Taekwondo Championships in November last year, Guba won silver — making it two silvers in under two weeks and on October 17 last year, he also clinched gold at the Ultimate Open Championships.
His 5th gold this year was won in July held at HMS Nelson Naval Base in Portsmouth, England; his 4th on July 7 at the Welsh International Championships held at Sophia National Sports Centre in Cardiff.
Guba is the only highly-graded personnel in UK Armed Forces Taekwondo team and his most recent and notable achievement is his grading to Kukkiwon World Taekwondo 5th Dan/ Degree black belt.
He is captain for the British Army Taekwondo team since 2010 and is also selected to represent the team at the World Masters’ Games 2022 in Tokyo.
He has now over 250 accolades on his trophy trove that include medals, awards, trophies and recognitions in martial arts in general both at international and British national competitions.
Guba was nominated for the 2019 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.
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 Blantyre Youth Centre (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) before joining the British Army in 2007.
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 as a Sergeant, Guba has also been previously honoured by the British military when he was named the third best British Military Sportsperson of the Year achiever.