By Ellina Mhlanga
ZIMBABWE Karate Union technical director (full contact) Kumbirai Musinami has hailed the achievements of renowned karateka Samson Muripo and says they are motivation to the local karate family to keep on pushing for the best.
Muripo was crowned champion in the Young Master Kumite (36 to 46 years) Open weight category at the World So-Kyokushin All-Japan Karate tournament over the weekend in Shizuoka.
The former world champion was part of a five-member Zimbabwe team, which included Admire Chingozhoro, Naison Chituwa, Tangayi “Mighty” Mhlanga and Likhwa Khumalo, who were all competing in the men’s Open weight division.
Musinami described Muripo as a great karateka.
“He is a pioneer and his result is a great achievement from a great karateka and sportsman. His standard is very exceptional, however, if he achieved it then we are capable of producing another one like him or better.
“Sensei Likhwa also did extremely well considering that he was participating in this highly competitive tournament for the first time and he managed to rise to the occasion. We are so happy for the result and it motivates us greatly as the karate family to work harder and aim higher. Our only challenge is support in terms of finances, otherwise, we do have what it takes to excel in such high-profile events,” said Musinami.
Muripo’s performance was the best performer from Team Zimbabwe, followed by Khumalo, who came eighth in the men’s Open weight category. Team captain Chingozhoro, Chituwa and Mhlanga bowed out in the second round. Chingozhoro, who came second in 2016 at the same tournament, had hoped to surpass his previous show but could not do so.
He was full of praise for Muripo and said it’s an honour to be competing alongside him.
“It’s an honour for our country and my fellow karatekas. Samson Muripo is leading by example, he is a champion of all time,” said Chingozhoro.
Muripo successfully went through a technical dan promotion to fifth dan in India last September to become a Shihan (master).