Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
LOCAL karatekas who competed in the JKA Southern Regional tournament on Saturday in Gauteng, South Africa, flew the country’s flag high when they scooped 19 medals. The tournament was originally scheduled to feature eight countries but only
Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa took part in the one-day competition.
Zimbabwe fielded 11 fighters in seven categories — the men’s open veterans, senior men, senior women, Under-19 boys category, boys 15, 11 and 9 year-age groups.
The Zimbabwean team harvested seven gold medals, nine silver medals and three bronze medals.
In the men’s open veterans, Zimbabwe was represented by South Africa-based Elton Marongere who got two gold medals in the kumite and kata divisions while his teammate, Dumisani Ndlovu, walked away with as many silver medals.
Marongere went on to scoop another gold medal in the senior men’s competition and Ndlovu got another silver medal.
Medinah Ramjee, who was the sole representative in the women section, walked away with a silver medal.
Lee Chemhuru also put up a good show when he won a gold and bronze medal in the Under-19 boys’ kumite and kata respectively.
Nyasha Kumire gave a good account of himself in the 15-years boys’ section when winning two gold medals in both kumite and kata while Tinashe Ziwira got a silver and bronze medal.
Tadiwanashe Kumire claimed silver in the 11-year boys section and Tinashe Ziwira won a gold and silver medal in the same category.
In the nine-years boys’ section, Shafiq Ebrahim Tampkin walked away with two silver medals.
JKA Shotokan style senior instructor, Joshua Kumire, was happy with the performance displayed by the karatekas at the regional tournament.
“I think we did very well because of our numbers we could not field representatives in some categories.
“This was a style competition and it’s slightly different in that you fight a person on the same level with you and the fighting itself was a little bit tough.
“There was a lot of competition from South Africa and Namibia but everyone managed to get something,” said Kumire
Kumire said the tournament was also a learning curve for both karatekas and the administrators.
“There was a lot to learn because it’s a same style competition and you learn from the other guys how they are running the sport.
“We realised that on the administrative side we need to look for sponsorship before going to such tournaments. The other countries had bigger teams in terms of numbers and you realise that by sending a few people even if you win you remain on the bottom of the medals table because some countries will be fielding fighters in all categories,” said Kumire.