Rwanda look to shrug off poor start to Karate tournament

RWANDA’S KARATE team on Thursday failed to win medals in the Kata contest at the start of the ongoing 15th Senior African Karate Championships in Dakar, Senegal.
Rwanda’s male Kata team that lost in the quarter-finals to Ivory Coast. (L-R) Jean Claude Kumi, Sylvestre Twajamahoro and Noel Nkuranyabahizi. Courtesy.
Rwanda’s male Kata team that lost in the quarter-finals to Ivory Coast. (L-R) Jean Claude Kumi, Sylvestre Twajamahoro and Noel Nkuranyabahizi. Courtesy.

RWANDA’S KARATE team on Thursday failed to win medals in the Kata contest at the start of the ongoing 15th Senior African Karate Championships in Dakar, Senegal.

Kata was the first phase of the four-day competition, and it will be followed by Kumite (fighting) competition, which gets underway today.

Kata is display of a set sequence of moves in a pre-arranged fight against imaginary opponents. 

Rwanda lost in male and female individual Kata categories during the first elimination phase. “Today’s matches were very bad for us” admitted National Karate Federation (Ferwaka) technical director Guy Didier Rurangayire, 

Semi-finals

After beating Benin, the female Kata team lost bronze medal to Cameroon in the semi-finals.

In the male category, after outclassing Burkina Faso earlier, the team lost in the quarter-finals to Ivory Coast.

Despite the poor start to the tournament, Rurangayire maintains that only the Egyptian team “are good enough” but others “are on the same level as us.”

Up to 17 countries are participating in the competition, including Rwanda, hosts Senegal, Benin, DR Congo, Congo, Egypt, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Libya, Mozambique, South Africa and Niger. 

Rwanda’s hopes for medals are now in the hands of the Kumite players.

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