Zimbabwe Japan Karate Association (ZJKA) is looking to come up with strong teams for the JKA/WF Africa Cup, which will be hosted in South Africa in August this year after the successful hosting of a preliminary selection tournament in Bulawayo last weekend.
BY GARISH PHIRI
After the Lysavay Zimbabwe Japan Karate Association team Championships at Bulawayo Bowling Club, another selection tournament has been slated for Gweru Sports Club on June 30.
Oswelled Ureke, the Zimbabwe JKA secretary-general said the technical staff is keen to assemble a strong team to represent the country at the Africa Cup.
“Last week, we had a tournament in Bulawayo, where there were some eye-catching individual performances by karatekas such as Julius Dzikiti, Tamuka and Tanyaradzwa Ziwira and Rumbidzai Ureke, who were the only females to compete alongside males in the team kata event. There is another one in Gweru next month and these tournaments will help us to pick outstanding individuals and a team that will represent Zimbabwe in South Africa later this year,” he said.
Ureke highlighted the importance of these tournaments, which will help athletes to stay in shape.
“When we have a team we will be conducting training sessions and players will be in camp bearing the tournament in mind. We are having these tournaments because no one yet has a guaranteed place in the team, the individuals’ performance during the course will tell us which category best suits an individual,” he said.
Zimbabwe JKA technical director, Sensei Gibson Sangweni described last week’s event as one of the best he had witnessed in years, owing to its unique format and the talent exhibited by the athletes.
“It was exciting from start to finish and showed that we have abundant talent in JKA. We will take as many teams as possible to the Africa Cup, depending on resources,” he said.
In 2015, the Zimbabwe JKA teams brought back two bronze medals and they hope to bring more silverware back home this time around.