Zim karate gears for Shizuoka champs

HARARE - Zimbabwe Karate Union (ZKU) are looking forward to sending six karatekas for next month’s 49th All Japana Karate Tournament scheduled for Shizuoka, Japan amid shortage of resources to enable them to conquer and not just to compete.

The tournament is set for April 14 and 15 with the country’s greatest karateka Samson Muripo expected to lead a star-studded team that also has Admire Chingozhoro, Kelly Munetsi, Naison Chituwa, George Mutambu and Likhwa Khulamo.

In February the team comprising Tangayi Mhlanga (Open men gold medalist), Pumulani Maphosa (gold men light-weight) did well by getting podium finishes in Nepal.

Muripo, who travelled to Nepal as an official, is confident that the six athletes will be able to hold their own and better still with a bit of resources availed to them between now and Shizuoka they will produce better results.

In another tournament held in Iran between February 25 and March 5, Muripo won gold in the Men Open weight category and a silver medal in the kata competition while Pumulani Maphosa came fourth in the Men U70kg light-weight category with Kotsanai Hwande losing in the second round of the Men +75kg.

“We are all going through our rigorous training as usual but our biggest challenge so far has been the preparation resources for better results,” Muripo told the Daily News yesterday.

“In the time that is left before the tournament we are seeking more partnerships with the corporate world as we embark on our journey to lift the flag of our nation higher than before.”

Muripo added that the team is geared for success and will still proceed to Japan in the event that no sponsorship comes through.

“We are certainly going,” he added.

“I was in Nepal early February then Iran at the end of the same month and I have a bulldozer faith in all my up and about.”

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