By John Tuerijama
NAMIBIAN karate team leaves for Kigali, Rwanda to compete in the 2018’s African karate championship slated for 31 August to 2 September.
The 16-member athletic team paid a courtesy call on the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) where they were presented with national colours.
Namibia Karate Union (NAKU) President Cornelius D’ Alton cautioned the athletes to go to Rwanda and shine by bringing home medals.
“Go there and make us very proud. The event will serve as qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and the idea is to have the athletes collect points at the African showdown,” D’ Alton
Namibia will for the first time feature the national junior team while the senior team will also form part of the delegation.
Team Manager, Leonard Martin, warned team members that the African championship will not be an easy competition as competitors from Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt are going to give stiff competition.
“Our athletes have the ability to come back with medals,” said Martin.
On his part, NSC Chief Administrator Freddy Mwiya said that there has been an outcry recently about national teams being criticised for not having a balanced team in terms of demographic representation.
He congratulated the karate leadership for ensuring that they select a representative team that have athletes from all walks of life based on merit.
Mwiya said that it is important that Namibia improves on their continental ranking and that the African championship in Kigali must serve as a platform to improve the country’s ranking.
Namibia is currently ranked second in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) after South Africa. Mwiya added that time has come for the country to get into the top five on the continent by beating the best of the best.
The team is scheduled to come back next week Monday.
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