Muripo ready for Japan tourney

HARARAE - Zimbabwe top karateka Sensei Samson Muripo said he is ready for the All-Japanese International karate tournament to be held later this weekend.

Muripo left the country on Tuesday but his fellow teammates Naison Chituwa and Lovemore Nyamutswa are still trying to secure sponsorship for airfares to travel to Japan.

“I have prepared for the event and now I think I am ready,” Muripo told the Daily News.

“I have mastered the art of fighting over the years. Our mind as fighters has to be equipped to know how to approach a specific opposition and that is the key to success.

“I hope Chituwa and Nyamutswa will get sponsorship for them to join me at the event, it will be a sad development if they fail to travel.

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

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 will be hoping to continue with his fine performance.

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.

Despite Muripo’s recent successes on the international stage, karate is still facing funding challenges as the corporate sector is still shuns the sport.

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