The senior national karate team is currently going through its paces at a High Performance Centre in Bloemfontein ahead of the All Africa Games slated for the first week of September.
Speaking from their base at the Free State Sports Science Institute, the national team head coach sensei George Tshikare said they have assembled a strong team that was made of young talent that recently graduated from the junior ranks into Under 21 and some karatekas with a wealth of experience from past international and regional meets including the last edition of the All Africa Games in Mozambique.
The Bloemfontein training camp is conducted by Turkish instructor, Haldun Alagas, a multiple Work Karate Federation and Euro champion.
Sensei Tshikare was adamant that after an impressive performance at last month’s Zone VI championships in Johannesburg, the team was ready to make another medals haul at the Congo Brazzaville games.
The squad that took part in the Zone VI championships has been trimmed to 14 athletes.
Sensei Tshikare is in charge of the injury free 14 member squad including kata sensation, Khaya Groth who has recovered from a nagging shoulder injury.
Hot on the heels of the Free State centre, the team will head to Durban for the hotly contested SA open.
The national team is yet to accede to an invite from Belgium to undergo intensive training to be conducted by elite karate trainer, Junior Lefebvre.
The female kata team will once again rely on the expertise of the 2011 All Africa Games bronze medal team of Baone Radiposo, Thato Malunga and Tsholofelo Maduma.
The male kata team comprises of Groth, Ofentse Bakwadi and Emmanuel Bulayani.
Africa Youth Games champion, Thabang Setshego has been roped in to assist in kumite and is likely to form a deadly combination with One Ntalagwe, Matlaaone Thebeng and Tirafalo Tsimamma.
For the ladies individual and team kumite, Sensei Tshikare will rely on Lame Hetanang, Malunga and Marylyn Manthe.
Source : BOPA