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KARATE PRODIGY’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP DREAM IN LIMBO

RISING Kyokushin karate young star Beavan Sibanda’s dream of becoming a junior world champion is hanging in the balance as he is yet to secure sponsorship to compete at the fifth KWU Kyokushin Open Youth World Championship to be held in Varna, Bulgaria from December 3-4. BY SPORTS REPORTER-THE STANDARD

The 15-year-old sensation’s selection to represent the country at the global junior championship comes after he lifted the country’s flag high by winning a silver medal at the Len Barnes Memorial Tournament in Durban, South Africa early this month.

And with just over a month before the global tournament, the Allan Wilson High School Form 2 student’s trip to Bulgaria is still in limbo as Kyokushin Zimbabwe is yet to secure sponsorship for his airfares.

Sibanda, whose Kyokushin karate journey began in Mbare back in 2013, has gone through a meteoric rise in his fledgling career in the past couple of years, winning a number of major titles.

This year he bagged a bronze in the Shorin Kempo All Africa championships in May and scooped gold in the All Africa So Kyokushin under 40kg gold medal in August 2016 before the silver medal in Durban.

Sibanda also won the best technique award in his age group at the Durban event.

His next assignment is the youth world championships, where he will be looking to go a step better and become a junior world champion.

In an interview with Standardsport, Kyokushin Zimbabwe president Emmanuel Kadiwa said it was imperative that Sibanda makes the youth championships trip as he had shown the potential to become a junior world champion.

“We really want him to participate at this event because it only comes once every three years and it’s really good for his development as a world class karateka. I am certain that he will bring back the gold if he goes. He only needs airfares from here to Sofia and Sofia back to Zimbabwe because all the arrangements in Bulgaria will be catered for by the organisers of the event,” he said.

Kadiwa will also be the only official from Africa to make the judges’ panel at the Kyokushin Championships, having also been there as a judge in 2013.

“This is the second time I am the only judge from Africa to take part at the event since I was there in 2013. I am also hoping for assistance in getting air tickets from here to Sofia. And looking at Beavan’s age, he also needs his coach with him, so at least three return tickets, will be good for us as a team,” Kadiwa added.

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