Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE Karate Union technical director full contact Kumbirai Musinami has urged the various styles to field their athletes at the upcoming Champion of Champions as it presents them with the opportunity to be considered for national teams. The annual event, pencilled in for December 2 in Harare, will see both full contact and semi-contact styles fighting for honours to mark the end of the season.
It is one the biggest local events on the ZKU calendar and the national technical directors and their teams use the event to pick athletes that form the core of the national teams that represent the country in various regional and international tournaments. Musinami said as in the previous years, this is a chance for all karatekas, including the upcoming ones, to showcase their talent. The ZKU technical director said it’s been a while since the country last had a world champion after Samson Muripo set the bar in 2009.
“All styles they are preparing for the tournament. I am also assisting with the training for all fighters because we are also in camp training our teams for next year. You find that those champions that we are going to get at the Champion of Champions will form the core of the team to participate in various events and it will depend on experience and how well prepared they are.
“It’s our biggest tournament locally and athletes should attended because it helps us select national teams. So I am urging all styles to come up with their athletes so that they can be considered for national teams and also exhibit our sportsmanship. I am hoping it will be highly technical. We need to go a notch up because it’s been a while since we had a world champion after Muripo. It’s good almost every year we have an international champion, it shows we are not very far away. But we want to see more world champions and we are already working on it, there are some good upcoming fighters.
“So the Champion of Champions it’s important, most of our teams we select them from there. It’s highly competitive, so someone who comes through this tournament is good,” said Musinami.
With their programmes for this year almost coming to end, Musinami said although they have faced some challenges along the way this season, they are hoping to finish on a high note.
“It was a bit difficult considering the finances. Almost every time when we spoke of a tournament we were financially constrained. But I think we did fairly well, we did not miss any tournament and every time we went out we brought something. So we commend our fighters for their resilience. So I would say we had our own successes and challenges as well. But all in all it was a good year,” said Musinami.
Last year the tournament got a boost with AfricaBet coming in with a $10 000 sponsorship.