Zim karate team trip in limbo

HARARE - The Zimbabwe karate teams which is set to travel to Japan is racing against time to secure sponsorship with two weeks left before the travelling date.

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

The team is to travel on April 22 with the event set to start one week later.

Muripo has appealed to both government and the corporate world to help make the trip to Japan a reality.

"For now no one has come to us, the trip definitely hangs in the balance, we have no funding," Muripo told the Daily News yesterday.

"We are still hopeful that we will get something before April 22 and we are still appealing to the cooperate world to come and support us so as to make our dream a reality.

"If the sport industry is taken seriously it's a source of employment and it's important for everyone support."

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.

He 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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