Gaborone — Young and upcoming karatekas gave spectators value for their money at the annual Gaborone Open International karate championship held at the Al Nur Hall in Gaborone on June 8
Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) sanctioned tournament was hosted by Hayashi Ha Botswana Karate Union and was played before an exciting crowd. Karatekas displayed intense moments of energised fights and perfectly coordinated kata moves much to the delight of the pleasing crowd who braved the chilly long weekend breeze to attend the event.
The ninth edition of the annual tournament had attracted a considerable number of karate students and were ready to show their nippy moves from the onset of the day long matches.
The final bouts were even more interesting with a number of shocking results. Exciting SSKB youngster, Rethabile Motseke opened his account with a gold medal in the boys' 10 years individual kumite beating visiting Henrique Bekker of Ghanzi Karate Academy.
Motseke wrapped up the afternoon with a second spot in the closely contested boys individual kata. The on-form Kao Nsala continued with his fine form when he easily beat his opponents to be crowned the overall winner in the boys 12-13 years category.
His opponents were familiar with the threat he posed going into the final matches as he is the reigning champion in both kata and kumite. He beat Dominic Thamage in kumite before capping up a fine afternoon with a victory over Lefika Mooketsi in kata.
Another interesting category was the men's open elite kumite where Ronald Mogana and Fraizer Motswakae were tied in the final bout. The judges waved in favour of the hardworking Mogana.
Interesting region five champion, Lentle Tanyala continued her fine form in the girls' kata beating Shedika Coetzee in the final match. Olorato Ngwebula beat El Topololo in boys' 14 to 15 years individual kumite while Martin Motseke continued his dominance over traditional rival Setso Sebina beating him to the first spot in boys' 14 to 15 years individual kata.
In an interview on the sidelines of the tournament, one of the event organisers, Sensei Ofentse Bakwadi said they were pleased with the great atmosphere both from the supportive parents and spectators and the pleasing turn up of athletes.
He said their next stop as Botswana Hayashi-Ha karate Union was to take part in the Hayashi-Ha Cape Town Open billed for September. Gaborone Open tournament used to attract karatekas from as far as China and Estonia but could not make it this year due to other pressing commitments.
<i>Source : BOPA</i>