Tadious Manyepo-Sports Reporter
WRESTLER Jonathan Muvingi is walking with a spring in his step after scooping a gold medal in the Kurash African Championships held in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, over the weekend.
The continental contest was making a return after a two-year absence from the circuit due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Zimbabwean heavyweight champion has also been missing in the previous instalments of the elite competition due to lack of sponsorship.
But the 32-year-old made sure this time around he was was part of the cast in South Africa.
And the 124kilo fighter romped to victory in the 100+kgs category after outdoing South Africa’s Mathew Spear in the final.
More than 10 African countries, including the hosts South Africa, took part in this jamboree.
Muvingi, who is widely regarded as Zimbabwe’s strongest man for his train and haulage truck horse-pulling abilities, said the accolade will spur him to do even better.
“I am always preparing for competitions even when I do not have one in sight. My ethic is always hard work,” said Muvingi.
“I am very excited to have won the tournament in South Africa.
“I hope to continue excelling in the future. The competition was stiff. I thank God I managed to pull through and win the medal for my country.”
While Muvingi was carrying the badge with honour and distinction down south, martial arts fighters of different styles were harvesting medals in the annual Japanese Ambassadors Cup at the Olympic Youth Development Centre in Lusaka, Zambia.
The event is held every year to celebrate different styles of martial arts originating from this country.
Nevermind Shereni led from the front with four medals, two of which are gold.
Shereni won gold in taekwondo and taekwondo kata (patterns) while other gold medals were won by Austin Muchenu (kykushin kenbukai), Shelton Murape (Kyokushin Kenbukaikan), Washington Madunhe (Kyokushin Kenbukai), Luvettes Brown (Under 60kg) and a lady Shallom Badze.
Meanwhile, the Wilfred Mashaya-led ZimNinja Academy, an affiliate of the Zimbabwe Karare Union (ZKU), held the first-ever Ninjutsu grading in Zimbabwe.
The grading was conducted last week at Morris Depot, the home and venue for the academy’s training.
Chief Instructor of Shidoshi-ho in Zimbabwe, Mashaya, presided over the grading.
Ninjutsu is a form of martial arts that originates from Japan.
At least 50 participants, including men, women and children, took part in the event.
They were being graded from white belt to green belt, which is the first stage of grading.
Some of the participants that were graded include Thandiwe Chirindo, Mitchell Rudanda, Wilfred Jnr Mashaya, Nyasha Chagonda, Vincent Fambira, Fredson Mhondiwa, Sandra Gwena and Marksen Mudzengerere.
Most of them have represented the country in a number of international competitions.
ZimNinja Academy has been raising the country’s flag high participating and winning a number of martial arts competitions.
Mashaya says he is on a mission to spread the goodness of martial arts in the country. He has become the appointed country representative and ambassador of martial arts disciplines such as Bujinkan Ninjutsu, Kobudo and self-defence.