Namibia triumphs at JSKA World Championship
History was made last week when the Namibia Shotokan Karate Academy hosted the 8th JSKA World Karate Championships in Swakopmund where teams from all over the world took part.
The tournament started off with a masters training course where all entrants had the opportunity to train with world class instructors. Thereafter the registration of all teams and the handing out of the accreditation to all team members followed and this was dealt by sensei Cornelius D’Alton.
Entries for the competition were in excess of 1200 which made this the largest karate event ever presented on Namibian soil. The “heads of delegations” were officially welcomed by the regional councillor, followed by a formal dinner and the following day additional master courses were held followed by referee courses and table official courses.
The actual action started, with competitors walking on to all six tatamis (floors). Chief Judges for the competition were sensei Hans Muller from Switzerland and sensei Willem Burger from Namibia, who kept a watchful eye on all the proceedings.
What then followed was a display of world class karate with some of the best competitors in the world fiercly competing in the senior, veteran, masters and open divisions. The awards ceremony at 16:00 was followed by an open sayonara party (farewell party) to all attendees and even spectators were welcomed at this party, affording all the opportunity to mix and mingle with the competitors and officials from all countries.
Two performances stood out at this championship as both managed to achieve feats never accomplished before. De Wet Moolman (Namibia reigning senior world champion) managed to win 4 Gold (senior kumite, senior kata, open kata and senior team kumite) and 2 Silver medals (open kumite and senior team kata) and Holly Rye (Scotland reigning senior European kata champion) managed to win 5 Gold (senior kata, senior kumite, senior team kumite, open kata and open kumite). This is a sterling performance by both athletes, and their performance is only matched by the absolute humbleness and character portrayed by these two great champions.
The countries attending all confirmed that a “new benchmark” has been set in terms of hosting World Championships. They remarked that the beauty of the country, and the hospitality of its people is unparalleled and is something which they will remember for ever. They complimented management of the Shotokan Karate Academy with the military precision with which this event was presented and all expressed their appreciation for the quality and strength of the Namibia karateka.