Local karatekas ready to impress in major provincial tournament

TWO Pietermaritzburg-based karatekas are determined to do well in a major provincial tournament, the Amajuba Best of the Best Senior Knockdown, next month.

Sandile Dlamini from Hayfields will fight in the under-80kg division at the TVET College in Newcastle on September 15, while UKZN PMB Masters student Bhekani Zondo is in the under-70kg category.

Dlamini, who recently received his black belt, says he is ready for the tournament and plans to do his best.

“My overall aim is to be selected to represent the province or hopefully the nation in a big tournament in Japan, so this coming tournament is a make or break for me,” he said. The 30-year old said he had joined karate because it taught him self-discipline and was a good way to abstain from drugs.

“I’m very happy with my preparations; I’ve been training very hard. I am a bit nervous because you never know what might happen. However, I am confident I will do well,” he said.

Zondo (23) said his main aim at the tournament was to do better than he did in 2016 when he first participated in the competition.

“I have worked on my weaknesses since then and I am hoping to make a remarkable impact this time around. I am driven by the desire to learn and perform better than I did before.

“I am also hopeful that I will bring a trophy home,” he said.

UKZN PMB karate instructor Bongani Gumede said the tournament would serve as ideal preparation for a bigger tournament, the Oyama Cup in Port Shepstone in October, and this meant the karatekas would be fighting for provincial and national selection in Newcastle.

Gumede will be running self-defence and karate demonstrations for women and girls in Pietermaritzburg. These will be at the UKZN LTI Residence on September 4 and at the Haloprop Residence on September 5 at 6 pm on both days.