LOCAL karatekas, who participated at the IKO Nakamura South Africa Classic 2023 over the weekend, put up a good show when picking five medals in various categories.
The tournament, featuring the hosts and Zimbabwe, was held in Johannesburg on Saturday.
The Zimbabwe Karate Union had an eight-member team that also included junior karatekas representing IKO Nakamura style.
The team scooped five medals — one gold, two silver and two bronze.
Robert Mashingaidze emerged tops in the Men Under-75kg to claim the team’s only gold medal.
Dumisani Magaya and Alicia Mufundisi weighed in with a silver medal each in the Men Under-60kg and Girls Under-15 age-groups.
Wengai Katemanyengo also rose to the occasion when picking a bronze medal in the Under-80kg while Justice Mutyoramwendo got bronze in the Men Open.
ZKU president, Tawanda Mufundisi, was full of praise for the team as he described their performance as brilliant.
“Their performance was brilliant.
“As far as fighting and the competition is concerned the team is just top notch.
“It’s the best that any country would love to have given the fact that they performed very well in South Africa despite the fact that the officiating was biased,” said Mufundisi.
Heizel Maupa, Wellington Kusikwenyu (Jnr) and Bryce Siziva were also part of the team but found the going tough as they missed out on podium finishes.
Some of the team members are now scheduled to compete at the International Friendship Karate Championship in Osaka, Japan on December 10.
Mufundisi said they are hoping to send six karatekas and two officials.
They are trying to raise the needed funds to cater for the trip and participation at the event.
“We are very busy now focusing on Japan. We want to send six fighters and two officials and the other guy is going for grading, fourth dan.
“As far as Japan is concerned the guys are geared up, they are ready.
“The challenge we have is corporate funding, we are still struggling to get some funds…But we are looking forward to it, we are very confident that we are going to make it,” said Mufundisi.