Muripo's cry from Japan

HARARE - No amount of challenges can deter Zimbabwe number one karateka, Sensei Samson Muripo from achieving greatness.

Despite winning many regional and international competitions, Muripo and his fellow fighters remain marginalised when it comes to sponsorship.

Last week, the Zimbabwe Karate Union (ZKU) team of four fighters had to endure a 24-hour bus journey to South Africa in order to catch a cheap flight to the 46th All Japan Karate Senshuken Taikai tournament.

The team’s coach Kumbirai Musinami had to remain behind in Harare as ZKU did not have enough money to send five people to Japan.

After arriving in Japan, Sensei Muripo finished fourth at the tournament held in Shizuoka while his teammates Admire Chingozhoro and Lovemore Nyamutsuwa were knocked out in the quarter-finals.

Speaking with the Daily News from Japan, Muripo praised individuals, who have supported the sport during this tough economic climate prevailing in Zimbabwe.

“I would like to thank all karatekas who continues to fuel this success with great belief in us and our country,” Muripo said.

“Special thanks goes to individuals who contributed at a time where no companies came on board.

“We are all waiting for the day our country can afford giving equal opportunities and sponsorship then we will prove to the world that there are more champions in Zimbabwe not just in karate but in every sporting discipline.

“Zimbabwe has the potential to prove that we are a force to reckon internationally. We have strong women and men who will shine with the right financial support in brighter years to come.”

The 2009 Japan gold-medallist declared that his karate journey can only end with his last breath.

“The battle rages on until the end of my journey, which is the end of my life. Karate is my life and it has taught me to be strong and be focussed in life,” he said.

“It has given me an opportunity to discover my potential and be a champion in life. I live to be a symbol of hope and light that shows there’s empowerment through sport.

“As Zimbabwe we may be going through a tough economic phase but there’s champion in every one of us despite the challenges we face and there’s no doubt because I am walking the talk under those challenges.”

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