HARARE – Sensei Samson Muripo is revelling in glory after his third place finish at the World Kyokushin Union Championships in Bulgaria on Sunday.
Muripo won the bronze medal in the 80kg category and was the only African male karateka to get past the third round stage.
“I am happy with this achievement. I really worked hard but it was not easy, it requires a lot of work,” Muripo said upon his arrival from Bulgaria at Harare International Airport late Tuesdday afternoon.
“The tournament was very tough especially in the quarterfinals where I fought a Japanese opponent.
“We drew the first two rounds before I knocked him in the last round. We had a good experience competing against top fighters from across the world and I discovered that Zimbabwean karatekas have a lot of potential.”
Muripo however, bemoaned the lack of sponsorship for the sport in Zimbabwe which has hampered its growth.
“This success will inspire other youths and equally importantly it will keep the flag of Zimbabwe high even when other countries may want to portray us negatively but the sport is lacking financial support from the cooperate world,” he said.
Other Zimbabwe representatives at the tournament in Bulgaria, Mugove Muhambi, Kudakwashe Katiyo, Brian Chiringa and Admire Chingozha failed to live up to expectations.
“Although we failed I am happy that our boys showed a lot of potential. For Chiringa and Katiyo it was their first time to compete in an international tournament,” senior karateka Muhambi said.
South African female fighter Desiree Radushin was the only other African to win a medal at the championships after she clinched bronze in the 70kg category.