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Karateka Muripo basks in glory

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KARATEKA Samson Muripo is basking in glory after winning a bronze medal at the World Kyokushin Championships held in Sofia, Bulgaria, at the weekend, describing his feat as a gift from God.

SPORTS CORRESPONDENT

The former world champion jetted into the country in the afternoon yesterday and received a hero’s welcome at Harare International Airport from hundreds of karatekas and other followers of the sport.

“First and foremost, I would like to thank God for making this possible,” Muripo said as he held his trophy.

“It was not easy. It requires a real man to achieve this. It’s a gift from God. I met a very experienced opponent from Russia —  eight-time champion Abdurashidov Shamsutdin. It was very tough, but my toughest fight was against a Japanese opponent in the quarter-final.

“It was really hard. We drew twice in the first and second rounds and eventually I knocked him out in the third round. I had no problems with the conditions in Bulgaria. I was very comfortable,” Muripo said.

The former world champion, however, lamented the lack of funding for karate.

“Karate has been putting Zimbabwe on the world map since 2009, but there has not been funding for the sport. We appeal to the government for financial and technical support,” the 35-year-old said.

The tournament, which catered for fighters from different full contact styles, began on Friday and ended on Sunday, with karatekas from across the world taking part in various weight divisions and Muripo finished third in the men’s 80kg category.

He reached the semi-finals and lost to eight-time champion Abdurashidov Shamsutdin of Russia.

He then took on Azerbaijan’s Gulmammadov Mehraj who had lost to Yorgov Nikolay of Bulgaria for the third-and-fourth place and defeated him to clinch the bronze medal.

Shamsutdin was the eventual winner of the championships, with Nikolay claiming the silver medal.

Zimbabwe sent six fighters, including Muripo, Mugove Muhambi, Admire Chingozhoro, Brian Chiringa, South Africa-based Sydney Veremu and Kudakwashe Katiyo, who was knocked out of the competition in the first round.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Welldone guys, thats a really interesting sport. I wish you the best in the future tournaments. The sport is looked down upon though

    • thumbs up big br..that’s quite an achievement..yu fought the best..yu gave your..yu are the best…Makorokoto

    • thumbs up big br..that’s quite an achievement..yu fought the best..yu gave your best..yu are the best…Makorokoto

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