The Sunday Times - - Sport -

TWINS of­ten have a sixth sense, an abil­ity to com­mu­ni­cate with­out words, but it’s not of­ten they share the same re­cur­ring dream.

Sis­ters Mar­i­jana and Mishela Di­moska have the same dream ev­ery night – rep­re­sent­ing Aus­tralia in karate at the Tokyo Olympics.

Karate will make its Olympic de­but in 2020 and the 20-year-old sis­ters who now call West­ern Aus­tralia home af­ter em­i­grat­ing from Mace­do­nia 12 months ago, can al­most reach out and touch it.

Or, to use a mar­tial arts metaphor, sub­due it with an open fist strike or round­house kick.

“We were wait­ing for that a long time and (be­fore) for 40 years karate has been wait­ing to be­come an Olympic sport,” Mar­i­jana said. “It is our main goal to com­pete at the Olympic Games. We are train­ing hard for that.”

To qual­ify, they will have to ac­cu­mu­late points at World Karate Fed­er­a­tion Pre­mier League events and other ma­jor tour­na­ments, such as the Ocea­nia Cham­pi­onships.

“It is our dream first to go to Olympics, but it will be so tough,” Mishela said.

The pair are West Aus­tralian In­sti­tute of Sport schol­ar­ship hold­ers and train un­der their par­ents Zlatko and Eli, who are ref­er­ees with the WKF. Both par­ents rep­re­sented Mace­do­nia and were highly dec­o­rated, but did not get the op­por­tu­nity to per­form at the Olympics.

They don’t want their chil­dren, who started train­ing at four and com­pet­ing at five, to miss their op­por­tu­nity. “The Olympics were one dream (that never hap­pened) but now maybe that dream is com­ing true,” Eli said. She said the girls could still of­fi­cially rep­re­sent Mace­do­nia. “(But) We are happy here and grate­ful to all of the mem­bers of the Aus­tralian Karate Fed­er­a­tion who have helped us here. It is an hon­our to rep­re­sent Aus­tralia,” Eli said.

The sis­ters reached the fi­nals in the ju­nior (un­der 21s) and se­nior cat­e­gories at the na­tional cham­pi­onships in Caloun­dra last month. Mar­i­jana won gold in both. There was also a gold and sil­ver medal haul at the Ocea­nia Cham­pi­onships ear­lier this year. Both have won medals at world un­der 21s level, Euro­pean ti­tles and in World Cups.

“They are very fo­cused young peo­ple and I am not just say­ing that be­cause I am their mother,” she said. “They have goals and know what they have to do to im­prove them­selves.”

The Olympic event will be an elim­i­na­tion sys­tem judged on kata (forms/move­ment) and ku­mite (spar­ring, grouped by weight class).

See­ing dou­ble: WA karate twins Mar­i­jana, be­low on left, and Mishela Di­moska. They are hop­ing to com­pete in karate (an Olympic sport for the first time) at Tokyo 2020. Pic­ture: Daniel Wilkins

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