Mmegi Online :: Olympic fever catches debuting karate
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Last Updated
Wednesday 21 February 2018, 17:14 pm.
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Olympic fever catches debuting karate

Although it is still two years before the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, local karatekas have already caught the biggest sporting spectacle’s fever.
By Calistus Kolantsho Wed 31 Jan 2018, 15:51 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Olympic fever catches debuting karate








Karate will make its debut in Tokyo, after being admitted into the Olympics in 2015.

Preparations for the Olympics start on Saturday with national team selections in Lobatse and Palapye.

The Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) public relations officer, Isaiah Ramontshonyana told Mmegi Sport that they decided to hold selection camps in different locations to avoid delays.

He said assistant coaches would be split to enable them to attend the two selection events. “After the weekend selections have been completed, those who make the cut, will then attend a final selection tournament scheduled scheduled for Gaborone on March 17,” he said.

Ramontshonyana said they expect the competition to be tough as most karatekas would like to compete at the Olympics. They therefore expect the technical team to be vigilant during the selections.

Some of the karatekas are going all out to secure spots in the national. Lemogang Koolopile is one such athlete eyeing a place in the plane to Tokyo. To enhance his chances, Koolopile intends to compete at the World Karate Federation (WKF)

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championship to be held in Dubai on February 16.

“It is a premier league event that is used by WKF for rankings. At the moment I am ranked 113 in the world and after attending this tournament I can go up to the top 100. The aim is Tokyo 2020 and for one to qualify, they have to be in the top 100,” he said.

Koolopile said the challenge is lack of funds. He said the costs for the trip is around P39, 000 and has appeal to various stakeholders to assist him make the Dubai trip possible.

Another karateka, Oratile Caiphus trained with South African 84kg champion and 2015 All Africa Games silver medalist, Sandile Makwali last week. Caiphus said training with Makwali was a positive step in his preparations.

“We are sharing experiences from the past Africa Championships. We want to match Olympics standard qualifications,” he said.

The qualifiers for the continent start with Union of African Karate federations (UFAK) championship to be held in Rwanda in August.

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