African champ Chiringa ready to plunge into action at karate tourney
AS Zimbabwe hosts the second All-Africa So-Kyokushin karate tournament today, reigning World Fighting Kyokushinkai Organisation championships African champion, Brian Chiringa can hardly wait to plunge into action.
The full contact styles tournament to be held at Chitungwiza Aquatic Complex is expected to feature athletes from South Africa, Swaziland, Malawi and hosts, Zimbabwe.
Chiringa won gold last November at the WFKO tournament in South Africa and is one of the athletes who will represent Zimbabwe today.
He represented Zimbabwe in the Shorin Kempo Kaikan tournament in South Africa, in May, where he came second in the Open weight category.
"Hopefully, we will represent our country well although preparations were tough because of the current prevailing economic situation.
“Mostly when one goes into a tournament they hope to do better.
"Some of us have been to many tournaments but I hope to do better than my previous performances,” said Chiringa. He said his experience could come in handy. "For you to win some of these fights you need experience.
“We are just hoping that we will give it our best shot. Hopefully, we will make our country proud,” said Chiringa.
IFK — Kyokushinkai country branch chief, Tawanda Mufundisi, feels the tournament presents an opportunity for local karatekas to showcase their talent.
“We are coming together to promote karate. Everyone gets the opportunity to showcase their talent because you find that sometimes when we compete outside the country some of them don’t have the resources.
“It’s not about Mufundisi and the other guys with big names but it’s an opportunity for everyone to showcase their talent.
"There are a lot of better fighters out there, some who are better than us but sometimes it’s just an issue of resources limiting them.
"We are capable of grooming more champions.,” said Mufundisi.
So-kyokushin karate-do organisation are the organisers of the torunament and their senior instructor, Kumbirai Musinami, is convinced staging such tournaments will go a long way in promoting the sport.
“As Zimbabwe karate we are expecting to fly our national flag high. Our main aim is to make sure that karate is accepted by locals and known just like any other sport.
"Being one of the best countries in Africa we want our people to appreciate the sport.
“Secondly, next year we are hosting our first international tournament, so this tournament is actually a litmus test for us to see how well organised we are because next year it will even be bigger and more difficult to organise,” said Musinami.
Musinami said while Zimbabwe, South Africa and Swaziland are the regular participants they are happy to have Malawi coming in for the first time.
“Malawi has seven fighters, they are still coming up. They are already here. This is their first time competing in any regional tournament. But they have good fighters.
“Elliot Chisalanga, who is their instructor is here. He is also going to participate in the lightweight category. He is very good. Now it means we have a lot of experienced fighters,” said Musinami.
South Africa and Swaziland were expected to arrive last night. world