Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
AFTER spending the greater part of the year setting up structures across the country, the Zimbabwe Wushu Federation will today hold an Open tournament in Belvedere, Harare to select a team for the 2018 World Wing Chun Wushu Open competition in China.
The World Wing Chun Wushu Open competition is scheduled for November 29 to December 3,.
Today’s tournament will see athletes drawn from schools, clubs and provinces taking part with the hope of making the grade for the event in China.
ZWF president White Mukweya said they are also looking at selecting a standing national team for 2019 events.
“The aims of the tournament are to select athletes to represent Zimbabwe in the World Wing Chun Open competition to be held from November 29 to 3 December. Successful athletes will have all expenses to attend the event funded by the Chinese Embassy.
“We also want to select the Zimbabwe wushu national team for wushu styles for all age-groups and weight categories.
The selected national team will have the mandate to represent Zimbabwe at all international wushu competitions and events that may be held in 2019,” said Mukweya.
There hasn’t been much activity happening for wushu on the local scene in terms of competition and Mukweya believes the tournament is likely to attract a huge crowd since it is their first national event since they came into office in April.
“We are looking forward to a large number because we need plus 50 athletes for the national team. There is a very high excitement, we have been receiving overwhelming responses. So it’s going to be exciting.
“We have been quiet for some time and recently we got an invitation from the International Wushu Federation. This invitation we shared also with the Chinese Embassy and they are willing to assist,” Mukweya said.
The selected athletes for the World Wing Chun Wushu Open competition are also expected to make presentations at the Chinese Embassy soon after the tournament.
“We are to make the first selection in Belvedere, when we do that we will then go to the Chinese Embassy. The Chinese, they are sponsoring the event. They also said they would want to see what we are doing and see how we perform. It’s going to be done on the same day.
“We have proposed to send 12 athletes and three officials that is what we have requested. At the moment we are relying on the Chinese Embassy to assist. We have also written to the Sport and Recreation Commission and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education because we are involving school children.
“We have invited schools, clubs and provincials associations for this tournament. The whole idea is for athletes to showcase their wushu skills…But our focus is mainly the wing chun style,” said Mukweya.