Bulawayo Karatekers itching make national team
Innocent Kurira, [email protected]
SIX Bulawayo-based Karatekers are in line to make the Zimbabwe national team squad to take part in the African Union Sports Council Region 5 Karate Federation (UFAK Region South) Championships set for Harare.
Zimbabwe will host the UFAK Championships at the City Sports Centre in Harare from June 8 to 11.
The event will take place at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) Exhibition Park in Harare. Zimbabwe won the bid to host the competition last year in Durban, South Africa.
Approximately 500 karate participants are expected from countries which will include Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zambia.
The Bulawayo-based athletes who are hoping to make the final cut are Bongeka Mguni, Divine Rwambiwa in the male category and Karabo Mabusa, Natalie Mpofu, Rumbidzai Makamache and Makanaka Mulopa in the ladies’ division.
The Zimbabwe National Karate Federation (ZNKF) public relations officer Bulawayo province Sensei Greatmans Sibanda is confident the Karatekers will be part of the national squad.
“The Karatekers are more than ready for the championships as the training is done through Sensei Ndabezinhle Mazibuko. The national team squad will be announced soon and we are hopeful our Karatekers will make the grade. Karatekers have been training in their provinces and now we await the final naming of the national side,” said Sibanda.
Angola, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe participated in the previous edition of the competition in South Africa.
The Zimbabwean delegation had 13 athletes (10 females and three males), three officials, one coach and two referees, and the team manager.
The country managed to attain a total of six medals from the championships.
Winston Nyanhete got the only gold medal with the rest of the medals being bronze.
They were won by Nakai Mahachi, Tishana Sekerani, Getrude Matare, Ruvarashe Kasumba, and Lovemore Mutume.
ZNKF was formed two years ago for semi-contact members to comply with WKF statutes that prohibit its affiliates from mixing semi-contact and full-contact karate.
It was formed after ZKU continued to administer both semi and full-contact karate in breach of WKF rules. After being formally admitted into the World Karate Federation (WKF), ZNKF has been putting up structures and holding domestic competitions.