The Sunday Mail
Top Zimbabwean karateka Saiko Sensei Samson Muripo was yesterday crowned world champion at the 3rd International So-Kyokushin Karate Tournament in Ahvaz, Iran, yesterday.
This is the second time Muripo – a 4th dan belt fighter – has won gold at a high profile international competition after he became the first African to be crowned world champion at Osaka, Japan in 2009.
Muripo participated in three categories and quenched his usually insatiable thirst for success by winning two medals.
He won a silver medal in the Under 90kgs category kumite, after he had scooped bronze in the kata competition.
He entered the final of the Seniors category of ages between 35-40 yesterday carrying injuries from his previous fight but told The Sunday Mail giving up is something does not do.
“I had to do it for my country and I am happy I did it,” he said.
“I am really grateful to God for this; winning the two medals, on the first day gave me more hunger to go for the gold,” he said.
“This victory is so sweet to me because I just attained it in the same year I will see my country hosting the 1st So-Kyokushin International Tournament in Harare this July.
“It is great motivation to my team back home whom I am grateful to for the support and all the groundwork they are doing.
“I have no doubt my victory is tangible evidence to the corporate world in Zimbabwe that we have what it takes to make our country proud,” he said.
Muripo, who is the World So-Kyokushin country representative and Africa Development Officer, will be working with the Zimbabwe Karate Union to host the world renowned karateka, hanshi Daigo Oishi, on July 22.Oishi is a 9th dan black belt master.
The country is then expected to host over 15 international fighters who will slug it out for global prominence at the 1st International So-Kyokushin Karate Tournament in Harare.