Zim sends 20 fighters to SA karate tournament
TEAM Zimbabwe member Phumulani Maposa is bubbling with confidence ahead of the Len Barnes Memorial Karate tournament on this weekend in Durban, South Africa.
The Zimbabwe Karate Union is sending a team of more than 20 fighters for this year’s edition.
Maposa believes they have done all they need in preparing for the tournament and is in a buoyant mood ahead of the competition.
“We are very prepared for this tournament and we are aiming high. Personally I am going for the top position, a gold medal. I have done it before, I have been in camp for too long, so I am confident.
“The best way (to success) in karate is training. If you train there is nothing difficult. So we will be flying the Zimbabwean flag high,” said Maposa.
ZKU technical director full contact, Kumbirai Musinami said they have drawn their team from different styles and part of the team will leave for South Africa today.
“We have assembled a team of 33 fighters. It’s made up of athletes from kyokushin, so-kyokushin and shukokai. These are the team members, however, the finances for travelling are still a hindrance. They will leave in batches.
“Some will go on Wednesday (today) some on Thursday and the last batch on Friday. The less experienced guys will go first so that they can adjust and the more experienced leave on Friday,” said Musinami.
Musinami said they have quite a number of new faces in the team but is positive they will raise the country’s flag high.
“We have got new fighters Godknows Chidugu, it’s his first regional competition, and he is a good fighter. We also have Ben Mutovo, he came second in our last tournament, the Japanese tournament.
“He is very talented and we hope he will do well. There is Beaven Sibanda from kyokushinkai, he is a very brilliant young man and it will be our delight to see him fighting in this tournament.
“When we rank Zimbabwe in Africa, Zimbabwe is probably the best in terms of full contact karate. So it puts the bar up high for our athletes.
“All the fighters we are sending are good fighters. We are hopeful they will bring medals especially with the experienced guys there, they can draw confidence and inspiration from them.
“So we expect quite a number of medals,” said Musinami.
Some of the seasoned fighters in the team include Phumulani Maposa, who have claimed several medals in such regional events and Tungamirai Madzimbamuto.
Besides Zimbabwe, other countries expected to take part include Swaziland, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana and hosts South Africa.