Namibia Karate Federation (NKF) secretary general Sonia Bergh has expressed confidence that the group of karatekas selected to represent the country at the coming AUSC Karate Championships has what it takes to bring home medals.
The African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Karate Championships is set to take place in Durban, South Africa, from 26-29 May.
The team consists of 80 junior and senior karatekas who are accompanied by nine management staff including the federation president Marchelle de Jager, coaches, judges, referees, and Region 5 technical directors.
Speaking at yesterday’s send-off ceremony, where the team also received national colours from the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC), Bergh said the federation selected the best of the best from its large pool of top young karatekas.
She added that the prospects of returning home with a decent number of medals are promising, considering the fact that the team has been preparing for the upcoming competition for over a year now.
“I am proud of the final team that we have selected to compete at this competition. We have a variety of athletes from across the country. The team looks strong and have been preparing for the longest time, so I believe we stand a good chance of collecting medals,” said Bergh.
The event was last held in Namibia in 2019 but could not take place last year due to the Covid-19.
Speaking on behalf of the athletes, Shane Husselmann who competes in the senior division, said he is happy with the quality in the team and the number of experienced karatekas.
“I’m looking forward to the competition. We have a fairly great team going to compete and all I can see is the team returning home with medals. We have various athletes who have competed at the continental and global levels, so I’m confident that we will do our country proud. The team also consists of a few upcoming athletes who have great potential. We are ready,” he said.
On his part, NSC chief administrator Freddy Mwiya urged the team to represent the country with pride. He added that he has been observing how other countries have been preparing and he believes that Namibia has the potential of winning top spots.
“Great team selection. I have been following your preparations and all I can say is I am proud. I want you guys to go out and represent the country with pride. I believe we have what it takes to bring medals home,” Mwiya said.