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THE Zimbabwe Karate Union are expecting to field at least 30 athletes at the forthcoming Zone Six Championships in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The championships will see countries from the Southern African region competing in various categories from May 28 to 30.

Zimbabwe have already selected a 50-member squad made up of senior men and women and juniors but because of financial challenges, about 30 athletes are expected to represent the country in the City of Gold.

The fighters are training in their respective bases under the guidance of the provincial technical director.

ZKU technical director Paul Danisa said preparations were going on well and he has so far been to some of the provinces to assess the state of preparedness.

“I have been to the Midlands, Bulawayo and the last training I did was in Masvingo. There are ongoing preparations.

“We are also training every Saturday in Harare. For those who cannot travel to Harare we have got part of our training department like provincial technical directors working with them.

“We are looking at having a four-day training camp in Harare and then it will be easier to travel to Johannesburg from Harare,” said Danisa.

Danisa, however, said of the 50 fighters that made it into the team, they are likely to travel with 30.

“We leave on May 27 but the bulk of the team is struggling to raise funds . . . Everyone is catering for their own expenses.

“What we do is we select a team way in aance so the people travelling are the people who have made it into the team and we have, at least, half of our elite athletes going.

“We are looking at 18 seniors, six of whom will be women and the other 12 men. We are also expecting to have 12 juniors.

“As it stands, we have two athletes for each category but it now depends on who is able to travel, that’s going to determine the categories in which we are going to field athletes.

Zimbabwe came third behind South Africa and Zambia in last year’s tournament.

Source : The Herald