Karate team intensifies preps

HARARE - Zimbabwe’s karatekas have intensified preparations for the Len Barnes memorial karate tournament to be held in Johannesburg next week.

The tournament is held annually in commemoration of the late Shihan Len Barnes, who passed away 11 years ago.

He was responsible for introducing karate in Africa in the early 1950s. Zimbabwe Karate Union vice-president sensei Eric Chinembiri expressed confidence in the team.

“I think we have done everything in terms of preparations, we manage to source funds needed for the trip,” Chinembiri told the Daily News yesterday.

“I have just taken a small sample from each category. Our technical department is doing their best to finalise their preparations.

“This tournament is very important in Africa, it is like an African Championship, for the past 10 years we have been dominating and we are confident that we will do the same this year.

“Technically this tournament is proving to be one of the best continental tournaments. As a country we take this event seriously because it is a good platform to rate ourselves continentally.”

Last year, the Zimbabwe team scooped five medals at the same event.

“We are also using this platform to sharpen our preparation for the upcoming World Karate Championships in Durban in September this year, which karate South Africa (KSA) and Kyokushin Matsushima group are hosting,” Chinembiri.

The tournament is set to attract katatekas from Botswana, Gabon, Ghana, South Africa, Seychelles, Zambia, Zimbabwe and France.

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