African champ Chiringa ready to plunge into ac­tion at karate tour­ney

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - El­lina Mh­langa Harare Bureau

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

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