Karate team appeals for funding

HARARE - Zimbabwean karatekas who are set to travel to Japan for the All-Japanese tournament this month are struggling to get sponsorship despite their achievements in previous outings.

The country’s top karateka Sensei Samson Muripo will be joined by fellow countrymen Naison Chituwa and Lovemore Nyamutswa for the tournament.

Muripo revealed the karatekas’ plight to the Daily News and said they are now hoping to get support from well wishers o finance their trip.

“We are still struggling to get sponsorship and we are now appealing to the co-operate world and the government to come and help us," Muripo told the Daily News.

Muripo will be hoping to continue from where he left off last year as he seeks to make a bigger impact at international events.

Last year, the 35-year-old put Zimbabwe on the world map when he beat Azerbaijan's Gulmammadov Mehraj for third place at the World Kyokushin Union Championships in Bulgaria and was the only African male karateka to get past the third round stage.

Muripo followed that up with a stunning success story in Shanghai, China, where he was crowned champion at the World So-Kyokushin Cup International heavyweight category later that month.

In 2009, Muripo won the world title in the middleweight division to become the country's first black world champion.

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