THE Zimbabwe karate team that excelled in the Ashihara World Cup Sabaki Challenge in South Africa recently will be honoured for their efforts next month.
The karatekas brought home six medals, three gold and as many bronze medals in different categories.
Kelly Farai Mutasa was the champion in the heavyweight category while Austin Mucheni emulated him in the middle weight with Tendai Chaparadza victorious in the Under 18s.
On the other hand, Lovemore Nyamutswa (heavyweight), Robson Mucheni (middleweight) and Malvern Muyambo (lightweight) came home with bronze medals.
Kyokushin Union of Zimbabwe sponsor, Arosume Property Development (ADP), which has been funding the athletes’ trips out of the country this year, has confirmed that they will be holding a prize giving function next month.
In an interview with Independent Sport, the company’s chief executive officer, Manson Mnaba, said: “We will have a party to celebrate the victory at which we shall be giving the athletes cash prizes and other materials.
“These karatekas deserve to be honoured for the job well done. This is no mean achievement. It’s remarkable hence the need to keep motivating them.”
He claimed that the medals brought home by the team were the best sporting results in the country in any discipline this year.
“I am most pleased by the fact that karate has emerged as the best sporting discipline in the country,” Mnaba said. “It is our desire to make it even better than all sporting disciplines, thus we will keep on supporting them through financial and material support.”
The company has since honoured Kyokushin World Champion Samson Muripo after he came second in the All Eastern Japan Karate International in April as well as Tafadzwa Mushunje who won silver in the Len Barnes International Under-8 held in South Africa the same month.
Lovemore Nyamutswa is another beneficiary of the company’s support after he won gold and silver in the open and middle weight respectively during the Southern Kyokushin Union in May.
Meanwhile, Muripo has stepped
up preparations to defend his Kyokushin title in Kazakhstan in July next year.
Muripo, who won the title after defeating Kuku Yasumichi Yama of Japan in the final last year, is confident he will be successful again come next year.
He has, however, appealed for more assistance to prepare adequately for the tournament.
“I am appealing to well wishers to join hands ADP and provide any form of support so that our preparations become less painful,” said Muripo.“We need to go to the gym, mountains and other places to ready ourselves both physically and mentally.”