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Karatekas brace for karate open championships

Karatekas brace for karate open championships
June 29
14:37 2018
  • It however remains to be seen if the karatekas will take their recent form to the two local competitions.

BAITSHEPI SEKGWENG

Tempers are expected to fly thick and fast this weekend when power and precision will be put to use at open championships to be played in t Gaborone and Letlhakane.

The two tournaments are scheduled to take place this Saturday (30th of June). Letlhakane Open is the brainchild of the Kofukan Shito Ryu style and it will be held at Letlhakane Senior Secondary School while the Gaborone Open which is organized by the Botswana Hayashi Ha, will take place at Al-Nur English Medium School.

The tournaments follow a successful Africa Union Sports Council Region V karate championship held recently where Botswana athletes dominated. It however remains to be seen if the karatekas will take their recent form to the two local competitions.

According to Sensei Lucas Rakgampu of the Letlhakane Karate Club who who will hosts in Letlhakane, the event is one of their initiatives that are aimed at taking karate to the people. It will be the first karate competition of its kind to held in Boteti region. “This competition is used as a development tool and this is the first time we have it here in Boteti, so I have realized that there is too much talent in rural areas; it’s just that these children cannot go to the city frequently for tournaments so that’s why I saw it fit to stage one here. Initially it was a youth tournament but I was forced to include categories for older people because the demand was high,” he said.

Though the tournament is staged far in the heart of Boteti region, Rakgampu said he expects a lot of karatekas to attend and everything is in place. “Preparations are going well at this point in time and I am just waiting for the day of the competition. But I’m expecting a lot of karatekas, more especially young ones,”

Rakgampu is grateful to Botswana Karate Association (BoKA) for the association’s involvement in the tournaments

“They are assisting a lot by availing match officials and I have invited BoKA president Tshepo Bathai who has promised to grace the tournament,” said Rakgampu.

When quizzed on why the event is held on the same day as the Gaborone Open, Rakgampu said: “We are of different styles but initially I wanted to change the date to 7th July but I couldn’t since the tournament was again clashing with Botswana Integrated Sports Association (BISA) zonal championships which our karatekas participate in. So at the end of the day it is sports and we will divide ourselves as people of karate and attend both of the competitions,” he said.

On the other hand, Gaborone Open representative, Ofentse Bakwadi, told Global Sports that everything is already in place. “We are more than ready for this big day. Teams that are coming have already booked in and for our part, we have also managed to secure prizes in medals and trophies. So we are going to have a great tournament and this provides an opportunity for youngsters and karatekas to get international championship exposure at a local cost,” said the former African Kata gold medalist.

Bakwadi further said they are expecting various clubs from Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia who have all confirmed their participation for the one day event.

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