WINDHOEK - The Namibian karate team ended 9th overall at the just ended African championships in Kigali, Rwanda, over the weekend. Namibia claimed various medals at the highly competitive continental championships courtesy of Myvoone Swaart (1x silver, 2x bronze), Freddy Mwiya Jr (bronze), Michelle Tjimuku (bronze) and Rassie Esterhuizen (bronze).
The Namibia Karate Union (NAKU) was among 25 African countries participating at the 17th African Senior Karate Championships and 9th African Junior Karate Championships held in Kigali from August 28 to September 2.
A delegation of 16 members attended the championships with eight juniors (two girls and six boys) and four senior athletes (two women and two men) competing for the honour of being crowned African champion.
Namibia started well winning four medals on day one (one silver and three bronze) and another junior medal on day two, securing five medals in total and an overall standing of 9th in Africa. Competition was very tough, but the NAKU is very proud of the performance of the team. The team built on the achievement of coming 3rd at the Region 5 event held in Botswana earlier in the year and once again confirmed its position in the region by finishing behind South Africa (4th) and Botswana (8th). Namibia was one of only 15 countries to win medals out of the 25 countries at the event.
Following the success of the karate athletes in Rwanda, NAKU is planning to send a small delegation to attend the World Karate Federation’s Senior World Championships in October as part of its athlete development plan.
A delighted president of NAKU Cornelius D’Alton said the union is extremely excited about its achievements this year and the road ahead for karate in Namibia.
“With karate an Olympic sport and being recently categorized by the ministry of sport as a developmental sport code we have decided to participate at both continental and international events to evaluate our standard of karate.
“We are therefore very pleased to say that Namibia is back on the African karate scene. However, we are facing a real challenge to get a team funded for the world championships and creating an opportunity for our athletes to gain valuable Olympic qualifying points.”