World Karate Federation endorse Zim

21 Nov, 2021 - 00:11 0 Views
World Karate  Federation endorse Zim

The Sunday Mail

Neville Dube
Sports Reporter

BOUYED by the endorsement they received at the recent World Karate Federation (WKF) Congress, the Zimbabwe National Karate Federation (ZNKF) have lined up another domestic competition — the Japanese Ambassador’s Tournament — on November 27.

The federation had the last laugh at the WKF Congress after they were endorsed as the sole local representative body in the global body.

Conversely, the Zimbabwe Karate Union, which had been battling for recognition by WKF despite repeated warnings to conform to the world body’s statutes, were disaffiliated at the same congress.

“The WKF Congress unanimously voted to permanently disaffiliate the Zimbabwe Karate Union and has also unanimously voted for the permanent affiliation of the Zimbabwe National Karate Federation here in Dubai. Congratulations to the ZNKF! Sad that Bahamas, Barbados, DPR Korea and South Sudan, who all had the same status with ZNKF, had their permanent affiliation bids thrown out because they failed to be represented at Congress,’’ read part of a statement issued at the end of the WKF Congress.

With the issue of their international status now resolved, ZNKF under the leadership of Joe Rugwete have now shifted their focus on upgrading the local sport. Rugwete told The Sunday Mail Sport that they felt vindicated by the WKF Congress endorsement, especially after they were denied affiliation by the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee (ZOC) despite the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) having given them the nod.

“Some 89 countries voted unanimously to permanently disaffiliate ZKU and also unanimously voted to grant the ZNKF full and permanent membership. This is great news for local karateka as we now qualify for full benefits of being WKF members. This means we can vote, we can receive assistance such as expert referees and coaches from the WKF. Locally, we were denied membership by ZOC on the basis that ZKU was still a member of WKF and we now await formal communication from WKF to ZOC on the Zimbabwe membership status, then we will pursue our application to ZOC,’’ Rugwete said.

While the WKF were settling the Zimbabwe issue, excitement has been building around the Japanese Ambassador’s tourney, a potentially thrilling event that is set to commence on Friday. Participants, who will battle it out in eight kumite categories starting from Under-16, are being drawn from the country’s 10 provinces.

ZNKF and the Embassy of Japan in Zimbabwe have partnered to host the 2021 edition of the tournament.

“We feel heavily indebted to the Japanese Ambassador for making this tournament a reality, an event that gives an opportunity to hundreds of karatekas from all provinces in Zimbabwe the much-needed exposure to showcase their talents,” said Rugwete.

The categories include kumite male 16+years, kumite female 16+years, kumite male senior 18+years (-67kg), kumite male senior 18+years (-75kg), kumite senior 18+years (75 kg), kumite female senior 18+years (55kg), kumite female 18+years (-61kg) and kumite female senior 18+years (61kg). The tournament, which was approved by the SRC, will be held under strict Covid-19 protocols.

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