Two Zimbabwe junior karatekas will represent the nation at the inaugural Kyokushin-kan World Youth Championships slated for Russia in the first week of December.
The two, Marlven Chiredzero (11) and Verily Muhambi (16), will be coached by Guthrie Chiredzero with Sensei Tendayi Marange going to Russia as country representative. The tournament runs from December 3 – 4.
Chiredzero holds a second Dan Kiyokushin karate belt. He expressed disappointment they are only sending two athletes while others could send 92, which is the maximum number any country is entitled to.
“We would have wanted to send a bigger chunk of athletes, but we do not have many juniors who can compete at such high levels. We have managed to send just two athletes because of lack of fighters who can fight at such a grand stage.
“There is need to start training kids at primary school level. However, it is my hope the two athletes we are sending will do us proud.
Preparations have started well and we will be leaving the country on the 27th of this month,” he said.
The highly-rated coach added the weather might, however, work against his charges.
“The weather might affect the youngsters. This side it is very hot unlike in Russia where it will be very cold. Moreover, we won’t have time to acclimatise.
“We are also working on improving the weights of the athletes with Muhambi who will be fighting in the Under-18 age group expected to gain 5kg to the official 65kg.
“Chiredzero, who will be fighting in the Under-13 age group, should gain about 10kg to weigh 55kg. They will achieve these weights if we work with them hard,” he said.
Marange, also an international judge, will attend the branch chief seminar to be hosted by grand master Hatsuo Royama after the tournament.