Namibian karateka Freddy Mwiya Jnr is on a quest to secure his spot at the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics that take place from 23 July to 8 August.
The 19-year-old is eager to participate in the global sports showpiece, and will jet out to Paris, France early next month to compete in the Karate Olympic Qualifying Games.
“This competition gives athletes who couldn’t automatically qualify for the Olympics one more chance to get to the five rings (Olympics),” he told New Era Sport.
He competes in the Kata and Kumite disciplines. Kata is a set of moves which are grouped together and completed in order, while Kumite is fighting, using the practical application of what is learnt in Kata.
The young man, who trains every day, said he is always mentally ready, and expects to emerge victorious at the competition.
“I can say I’m quite prepared for it, as it’s something I’ve been training for my whole life. A lot of preparation has been put in for me to accomplish my dream. I always go with the mentality of coming out first at any competition, so my chances are quite great. My competitors don’t know what exactly to expect from me, so I can say I’ve got the element of surprise by my side,” he beamed.
Mwiya has dominated his division at the Region 5 Championships, winning gold over the past five years, while he also won gold at the Commonwealth Karate Championships in 2019, and bronze at the Junior Africa Games in 2019.
Mwiya is part of five Namibian karatekas trying to qualify for the Games. The others are Suzelle Pronk, Joshua Kunneke, Keanu Stuurman and Michael Nakapande.