The Zimbabwe-Japan Karate Association (ZJKA) is confident that it has put together a solid team that will represent the country in the Africa Cup to be held in South Africa from August 31 to September 1 this year.

BY GARISH PHIRI

The selection process began with the ZJKA team Championships held in Bulawayo, as well as a selection tournament held in Gweru Sports Club.

Twenty-five African countries that do shotokan style are expected to participate in this year’s tournament.

ZJKA secretary-general/spokesperson Oswelled Ureke said after all the selection tournaments they conducted, the technical team had assembled a strong squad.

“I think we are almost there, we managed to assemble a team that we think it’s formidable. It will represent Zimbabwe in the second Africa Cup. The team includes David Dube, Tapiwa Matsivo, Never Mtizwa, Kuda Mauto, Abichester Chikwanda, Julius Dzikiti, Allan Chihaka and Allan Sibanda. These names are quite popular in karate or World Karate Federation (WKF) competitions organised by the Zimbabwe Karate Union. These individuals will do their best and should be able to bring medals,” he said.

Only one female was consistent and managed to pull through.

“The slight disappointment is that the ladies haven’t been forthcoming.

“At the moment, we have only one female in the team, Rumbidzai Ureke. We hope she will do her best. We hope she represents the ladies at this high level and bring medals back,” he said.

In 2015, the ZJKA teams brought two bronze medals.

“We sent a team to the first edition of the Africa Cup, which was in 2015. Our teams managed to bring bronze medals in both kumite (fighting) and kata, so our objective is to better that performance. We want to do better, bring silver or gold in both or one of those categories,” he said.

Team list

David Dube Tapiwa Matsivo, Never Mtizwa, Kuda Mauto, Abichester Chikwanda Julius Dzikiti Allan Chihaka, Allan Sibanda, Harsley Mapanzure.

Female: Rumbidzai Ureke

Officials: Sensei Phibion Mudzenda and Sensei Gibson Sangwa