By Ellina Mhlanga
Zimbabwe’s Samson Muripo wrote another script to his achievements when he was crowned world champion on Sunday at the sixth Kyokushin Karate World Cup in Moscow, Russia.
The renowned karateka put behind him the depressing news of his father’s death, just before he went into the competition, and went on to claim a world title in the Veterans Open category.
This is the second time he has been crowned world champion at the Kyokushin Karate World Cup.
Muripo made waves in 2009 when he became the first African to win a world title at the same tournament in Japan.
Then, he came tops in the middleweight division. He returned to the same event in 2011 in Kazakhstan and got silver in the same weight division before his third appearance on Sunday in the Veterans Open section.
Competing in the event after receiving the sad news of the passing on of his father back home in Zimbabwe, Muripo put up a spirited display to win gold. Before his departure to Russia, Muripo said it was going to be tough but was positive of a good result.
“My spirit rejoices going to such an event because that’s where I get revived . . . Such a category carries very experienced fighters that have like over 24 years of training.
“They are either Shihans or fourth dans, so it’s a very tough category. Victory is my target,” said Muripo
Zimbabwe So-kyokushin Karate-Do Organisation technical director, Kumbirai Musinami, commended Muripo for his determination.
“He lost his father on Friday, so what we did is we sent a delegation to go to Chimanimani because he only received the message when he was already in Russia and there was no way he could have come back. It was very tough for him, losing his father and competing, it takes a strong spirit.
“As an organisation we are very delighted and to win in a rival organisation. Remember we were once Kyokushin Union, we moved out to go to So-kyokushin, which means they wouldn’t want us to win. But to excel in such a situation takes great courage, great skill and I would like to commend Samson Muripo for the hard work he put in,’’ Musinami said.
Muripo was supposed to lead a three-member team from So-kyokushin, but due to financial constraints the other two fighters could not travel to Russia. However, the seasoned karateka, made sure he added another feather to his glowing karate reputation. The Chronicle