The Botswana Karate team dominated the Zone 6 Karate championships that were held in the country this past Saturday.
The team garnered a total of 95 medals from the championships to end on first position.
The zonal championship was attended by five countries, namely Botswana as hosts, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. With the conspicuous absence of South Africa, who usually send a very large and competitive contingent to the annual championships, Botswana were favourites to win the championships and the locals did not disappoint. Team Botswana were dominant in both the Kata and Kumite, taking home almost 50 percent of the total medals awarded at the championships.
The relatively youthful Botswana team, which had most of its senior members omitted from participating as it seeks to rebuild, put in a great show to win the zonal championships. Coached by the duo of Sensei Otto Tafa for the senior team and Sensei George Tshikare for the junior teams, the team garnered 42 gold medals, 28 silvers and 25 bronze medals. Botswana had at least 91 athletes competing in the championships and the medal tally represents at least one medal per athlete. Unlike in the past, the country had a good representation in the junior categories where they had at least 61 athletes, while the senior athletes counted for only 31, eleven of whom being female athletes.
Coming second behind Botswana was Zimbabwe who walked home with a total of 56 medals, 12 of which were gold.
Namibia came third with a total of 32 medals, Mozambique fourth with 14 medals while Zambia came last, scoring a paltry total of two medals, one a silver and one bronze.
The championships, which were officially opened by the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Mr Peter Mongwaketse, were also graced by the Japanese Ambassador to Botswana, Hiroyasu Kobayashi, as well as Zone 6’s Karate Officials.
The next episode of the Championships will be held in Windhoek Namibia in May 2013.