Local Karatekas disappointed to miss WJ Championships

By Michael Uugwanga

NAMIBIA will not be sending any karateka to the 12th World Karate Federation (WKF) Junior Cadet U-21 Championship in Konya, Turkey, due to lack of funding.

The 12th World Junior cadet U-21 Championship is scheduled to take place from 26 to 30 October 2022, and all affiliated members such as the Namibia Karate Federation (NKA) are allowed to send athletes.

The Junior World Championship is held every two years thus the last championship was in 2017 in Spain, while the 2019 championship in Chile was canceled due to political unrest and the COVID-19 outbreak.

Speaking to Confidente, NKA president, Marchelle de Jager confirmed that to participate at such prestigious event, an athlete is required to have an amount of N$45 000 for registration.

The athletes that were expected to take part in Turkey are Kunneke Dietloff (senior male), Freddy Mwiya Jr (senior male kumite), Sofia Porteus (junior female kumite), Monique Rickets (senior female kumite), and Justine Scholtz (junior male kata-16-17 yrs and Junior Male Kumite – 16-17).

This means the country will now be focusing at the 5th Cadet, 13th Junior and 21st Senior African Championship (commonly known as UFAK Championship) in Durban, South Africa in December.

“Due to the high financial implications (+- N$45 000.00 per person) for athletes to attend the Junior World Championship. We have advised the athletes to rather focus on the UFAK Championships that are scheduled in Durban, in December 2022.  A team of 21 athletes will be selected after the National Coach has conducted his final assessment training which was held this past weekend to which NKF will announce the final team,” De Jager said.

UFAK Championships will be used as ranking points for the karatekas in the world ranking, even though the final squad is yet to be announced.

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