'Zim karate's next best thing'

HARARE - Sensei  Samson Muripo believes So-Kyokushin fighter Tangayi Mhlanga will illuminate the 2015 Grand Prix Barcelona that takes place on Saturday in Spain.

Mhlanga left the country for the European nation on Wednesday and is set to showcase his great arsenal of techniques at the Pabellon Deportivo La Bastida.

He will contest in the middleweight category that boasts of Germany’s Sergej Braun, Daniel Sanchez and Adrian Aguilera of Spain.

The Karate Kyokushinkai tournament will be hosted by Rengokai Spain Federation in cooperation with World Fighting Kyokushin Organisation (WFKO).

The Highfield-based fighter comes into the tournament with his confidence on a high having defied odds to be crowned the African Champion in Johannesburg in January.

The 25-year-old proved a force to reckon with at the WFKO tournament, winning the championship belt that came with an all-expenses-paid for trip to Russia to compete in the World Championships in April.

“We are happy for the young man who was crowned the African Champion earlier this year in Johannesburg,” Muripo said.

“We prepared him well. He will do us proud.

“I am happy to see such young karatekas getting opportunities at a very young age. I can confidently say the World Championship title which I was crowned as the first African in 2009 will not end with me.

“My heart smiles seeing my students showing great promise and I believe they are going to achieve even more.”

The Grand Prix Barcelona is one of the preliminary tournaments for the World Grand Prix 2015.

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