Tunisia’s Khelifi: ‘Great Success Requires Great Sacrifice’
No longer in the junior division of judo, Ghofran Khelifi is ready to show the world what she is truly capable of. As one of the top female judokas in Tunisia, the 21-year-old’s love for the sport has no limit.
A multi-time medalist, Khelifi has given a lot to the sport in just a short period. The sacrifice has been worth it to her, however.
“I left my family at the age of 15 to do judo,” Khelifi told Judo Inside. “In my culture that’s a young age for a girl to be living alone. Also, in order to be able to do judo like I do — basically full-time training — I’ve had to take up sports science rather than some other subject. But as they say, great success requires great sacrifice.”
“It’s (Judo) my life, it’s the blood in my veins.”
Some moves that she has learned require more discipline than others. A master of the left-sided uchimata, Khelifi has been looking to perform the ippon-seoi-nage for a while now. It is a move year’s in the making for her to complete. With competition sidelined due to the coronavirus, there is a chance she can get it done with lots of training.
With an interest in the sport at such a young age and her parents by her side, Khelifi has a passion to perform, regardless if it does or doesn’t involve competing.
“I just like to fight, really,” Khelifi went on to say. “I guess I’m naturally quite an aggressive person, have been since young, so judo is an ideal sport for me. Whether I win or lose a fight, what’s important is that I did my best. As long as I feel I did my best, I can accept it if I lose. I’ll take it to mean I’ve just go to work harder for better results.”
Khelifi was able to show off her skills during the Dusseldorf Grand Slam against top judokas in Sabrina Filzmoser and Hedvig Karakas. While she placed seventh, it was a step in the right direction. Placing first multiple times in 2018 and 2019 events, the sky is the limit for Khelifi.
By increasing the competitions she participates in, as well as the caliber of opponents, Khelifi could very well reach her career ambitions.
“My short-term goal is to win the African Championships again,” Khelifi said. “It will be held in December. And my long-term goal would be the Olympics next summer.”