LEADING Zimbabwe female karatekas are set for a Japanese karate blast furnace when they compete at the forthcoming 2nd So-Kyokushin World Tournament.
The blood and sweat karate extravaganza is scheduled for the Shizuoka Prefecture on November 25 and 26.
Among the ladies travelling to Japan is Vanessa Kamusoso, Tatenda Kambarami, Florry Chandavengerwa, Elizabeth Muguma and Tsitsi Muranda.
Zimbabwe So-Kyokushin male team manager Sempai Evans Mutsahuni said there is no better place for the ladies to showcase their talent than at the world's biggest karate tournament.
“The organisation is having squad training every Tuesdays and Thursdays and also we are going to have a training camp, especially two weeks prior to the event, for fine tuning and morale boosting. However, we are having difficulties in terms of sponsorship for the scouted team,” Mutsahuni told NewsDay Sport.
“The inclusion of female athletes in such a high-level competition builds self-confidence, teaches them self-defence as well as boosting their morale. It also helps the gender by having mental toughness.”
The male contingent is led by the retiring legendary karateka and record-breaking two-time World Karate champion, Shihan Samson Muripo. It also boasts of seasoned campaigners in the mold of Admire Chingozhoro, Simbarashe Khumba, George Mucheni, Tangayi Mhlanga, Mind Mbozhi, Likhwa Khumalo, George Mutambu, Brian Sabeta and Lewis Marowero.
“We expect this tournament to be the biggest event of all times as we shall all be witnessing our Shihan (Muripo) fighting. He is now 45 years and it is difficult for someone of that age fighting in a big tournament like that one,” added Mutsahuni.
“This shall also be a way of setting precedent for all the upcoming karatekas as they shall see it happening, hence boosting their confidence as a way of setting targets for the association. And yes we are prepared for him to retire, hence the reason why the Japan trip has an inclusion of all categories — including the young ones in order for them to gain confidence after seeing him fighting in such a big event.
“Shihan Muripo will be working towards the development of dojos and working towards the expansion of the organisation. He is only retiring in terms of fighting competitions, not retiring from karate per se. He shall be there as our Shihan, international Kyokushin inspector, as a judge and other officials duties, locally and internationally.”
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