Proud medal winners at the recent International Development Karate Championship in South Africa are, front row seated from the left, Valentino Louw (bronze in kata), Rach-Zaune Klaaste (silver in kata, bronze in kumite), Caitlin Louw (gold in kata, bronze in kumite), Shaniqua Hagemann (bronze in kumite), Marliyano Tripodi (gold in kumite,bronze in kata) and Stanfo Kruger (bronze in kata); back row standing, Sensei Morchen Kruger (gold in kata), Wilhermo Johr (bronze in kumite and bronze in kata), Stéfan Vries (bronze in kata), Ernst Hagen (gold in kumite and gold in kata), Ryan Bock (silver in kata, bronze in kumite), Ryan Kruger (bronze in kumite and bronze in kata). (Photograph by Klaus Johr)
Each one of the eleven karateka from the Shotokan Khomasdal Dojo returned to Namibia with at least one tournament medal at the 18th International Development Championship at Magaliesburg near Pretoria in South Africa at the end of August.
The one-day championship drew more than two hundred and fifty competitors from South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe. Eight Namibian Dojos sent about ninety karateka to take part. The Khomasdal Dojo turned out to be the star performer in the Namibian Shotokan stable. Started slightly more than a year ago by Shotokan star, Sensei Morchen Kruger, the dojo now consists of thirteen young karateka, and three parents. Sensei Morchen was the shotokan national women’s champion in kata in both 2011 and 2013.
Her dedication and technical skills are what motivates her young karateka and also the foundation for the excellent results her students achieved at the Development Championship.
All Namibian Shotokan karateka travelled together in a group to attend the championship, accompanied by about 40 parents. The trip to South Africa exposed local karateka to international standards and competition but it also clearly demonstrated the high level of local talent and skill. The championship also served as a preparatory platform for identifying those karateka with the required aptitude to compete at next year’s Shotokan World Championship in Italy. Sensei Morchen said she is extremely proud of her students’ achievements and grateful that each member gave more than what is required. She also thanked her life-long instructor and mentor, Sensei Willem Burger for all his support throughout the year. She said she is indebted to all the companies and individuals who have made it possible for her and her club to attend the championship. She conveyed a special word of gratitude to Advance Travel, Advance Logistics, Namibia 24-Hour Breakdown Service, Uujuni Kadhila Travel, Bailey’s Reo Liner, Beukes Spar, as well as all individual sponsors.