Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
JUSTICE Mutyoramwendo and Kudakwashe Chiwandire were Zimbabwe’s best performers at the Africa Full Contact Organisation annual regional tournament at Thokoza in Johannesburg, South Africa, after coming tops in their respective categories.
Zimbabwe had a team of 10 karatekas and got three medals – two gold and one bronze.
Mutyoramwendo claimed gold in the men Under-70kg while Chiwandire emerged the winner in the women’s Under-55kg.
The bronze medal came from Tawanda Chimbade in the men Under-60kg.
The regional tournament for this year attracted athletes from Zimbabwe and hosts South Africa only.
Sempai Tendai Chaparadza, who was in charge of the team, was full of praise for his athletes.
“It was only Zimbabwe and South Africa, the other countries did not show up…so it was like South Africa versus Zimbabwe but we had few athletes.
“As for the performance, it was quite good. The team performed well, they did their best, what they know.
“We were supposed to get more than three trophies, some of the decisions made it was clear they were not being fair.
‘’But as a sport of discipline we had nothing to do, we had to accept the results,” said Chaparadza.
While the full contact karatekas were in South Africa, semi-contact fighters had their own schedule in Gaborone, Botswana where they battled it out in the African Union Sports Council Region Five karate championships.
Zimbabwe fielded a 16-member team from the 23 athletes they had initially hoped to take for the event.
Most of them had to meet the expenses for their participation.
They got eight bronze medals, with the likes of Dean Ramsey, Terry Huni and Blessing Sithole settling for bronze in the senior men weight divisions.
Sithole and Ramsey took part in the over 84kg and Under-84kg respectively while Huni went for the Under-75kg.
The trio then teamed up with Innocent Ntini, Adolf Chapwanyira, Victor Bhunu and Julius Dzikiti for the team event, where they came third.
In the juniors age-groups, it was an all-girls affair with Victoria Musarira getting bronze in the 10-11years age-group.
It was the same script for Tishana Sekerani and Aisha Kagwere as they also picked medals of the same colour in the 14 to 15 years and 12 to 13 years age-groups.