Top Zimbabwean karateka Saiko Sensei Samson Muripo was crowned world champion at the 3rd International So-Kyokushin Karate Tournament in Ahvaz, Iran at the weekend.
This is the second time Muripo — a 4th dan belt fighter — has won gold at a high profile international competition after he became the first African to be crowned world champion at Osaka, Japan in 2009.
He was unstoppable in Iran and proved why he is now a force to reckon with on the global martial arts arena. Muripo participated in three categories and quenched his usually insatiable thirst for success by winning two more medals.
He won a silver medal in the Under-90kgs category kumite after he had scooped bronze in the kata competition. Fighting and winning in two kumite categories in one tournament is considered an impossible task in full contact karate, but Muripo shocked the whole world. He entered the final of the Seniors category of ages between 35-40, carrying injuries from his previous fight but said giving up is something he never learnt in his life.
“I had to do it for my country and I am happy I did it. I am really grateful to God for this, winning the two medals I won on the first day gave me more hunger to go for the gold,” he said.
“This victory is so sweet to me because I just attained it in the same year I will see my country hosting the 1st So-Kyokushin International Tournament in Harare this July. It is great motivation to my team back home whom I am grateful to for the support and all the groundwork they are doing. I have no doubt my victory is tangible evidence to the corporate world in Zimbabwe that we have what it takes to make our country proud. If I have managed to win these medals with little resources we sourced imagine what lots of my talented students and I can do with financial support.”
Muripo who is the World So-Kyokushin country representative and Africa Development Officer will be working with the Zimbabwe Karate Union to host world renowned karateka, hanshi Daigo Oishi — a 9th dan black belt master on July 22.
The country is expected to host at least 15 international fighters who will fight for global prominence at the 1st International So-Kyokushin Karate Tournament in Harare. — Sportszone