Muripo finishes fourth

HARARE - Zimbabwe's leading karateka Sensei Samson Muripo finished in fourth place at the 46th All Japan Karate Senshuken Taikai tournament held at the weekend.

The other local karatekas, who also made the trip, Admire Chingozhoro and Lovemore Nyamutsuwa were able to reach the quarter-finals of the event.

Naison Chituwa failed to live up to expectations after he was defeated in the last 16 round by a controversial referee decision.

Chingozhoro, who was team captain, said the tournament was very tough and praised his teammates for a good show.

“It was a tough tournament dominated by the Japanese but the Zimbabwean team of four conquered,” Chingozhoro said.

“Chituwa was controversially beaten in the last 16 by the referee’s decision, the referees were too biased.”

The four karatekas almost failed to travel to Japan to take part in the competition due to lack of funds in the Zimbabwe Karate Union’s coffers.

The team’s air tickets were only secured a few days before the tournament and they had to leave behind coach Kumbirai Musinami.

With his performance in Japan, Muripo continues to put Zimbabwe on the world map with his successes in the sport.

Some of his successes on the international stage include when he beat Azerbaijan's Gulmammadov Mehraj for third place at the World Kyokushin Union Championships in Bulgaria in 2013.

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 that same year.

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