By John Tuerijama
THE three-member Namibian kickboxing team is expected to stun their opponents at the 49th Battle of Atlanta World Championships in the United States, where they will be competing from 17 to 18 June.
The trio did exceptionally well at previous world championships, where they outclassed their respective opponents in their various categories, by claiming the top three places between 2013 and 2016.
Namibia Kickboxing Federation (NKF) Vice-President, Anita de Klerk, said the kickboxers, who left the country on 12 June, are ready to do the country proud in Atlanta, Georgia.
She said that Julian Muller, Delano Muller and Lesley !Hoaeb have the talent to cause havoc against their opponents.
“Great expectation is in the air, after they were chosen as part of the Namibian team. Ten kickboxers from South Africa will be joining the Namibian team in Atlanta,” revealed De Klerk.
She said the three-man Namibian team will be fighting under the banner of the Ring Contact Fighting Arts International (RCFAI).
RCFAI is an organisation that aims to develop Africa’s vast talent in the sport.
“They are very well-prepared and working hard to achieve great heights.” said de Klerk. The Namibian kickboxers also participated in the RCFAI Jungle War VIII Tournament in Pretoria earlier this year, where they achieved great results.
The NFK sent a team of six fighters, who returned home with nine gold and six silver medals, following the 4 March tournament.
Delano won the Junior Sportsman of the Year title at the 2016 MTC/Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) Sports Awards in Windhoek. The 13-year-old was also nominated for a 2017 Regional Annual Sport Award.
!Hoaeb is the coach at the Walvis Bay-based Namibia RCFAI & Kickboxing Academy, where he motivates, inspires and teaches martial arts to students of all ages. Julian, who is doing his preliminary studies in Germany, in preparation of a degree in mechanical engineering, gives inspirational talks about drug abuse and other youth issues.
The trio say they are humbled and deeply thankful for the honour of representing Namibia in Atlanta, and for the trust that RCFAI President, Master Joe Viljoen, is putting in them. The Namibian team will leave for Atlanta on 12 June, to participate in the Battle of Atlanta from 17 and 18 June. De Klerk said that no sponsors have been forthcoming and the athletes had topay for the trip themselves.
Asked if the federation has sought help from the NSC, she said they had not submitted any financial request.
She added that some athletes have been invited to take part in a competition in Europe, but the date has not been finalised.
However, the tournament could possibly take place in July or August. “We are hosting the first-ever Desert Storm tournament on 7 October in Walvis Bay, to which Angola, South Africa and Zimbabwe have been invited. The competition will be conducted under the RCFAI banner,” De Klerk added. She added that the kickboxers have a good chance of winning some more MTC/NSC Sports Awards this year, depending on their showing in Atlanta.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015