Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Acting Sports Editor
THE Government has congratulated a grieving former Zimbabwe Sports Person of the Year, Samson Muripo, after he was crowned world champion at the Sixth World Kyokushin Karate Championship in Moscow, Russia at the weekend.
Muripo defied emotional stress after receiving news of the passing on of his father in Chimanimani to emerge as the overall winner of the highly competitive championship, a title he first held in 2009.
“Congratulations Shihan Samson Muripo for winning the 6th World Kyokushin Karate Championship in Moscow, Russia over the weekend and our condolences for the sad loss of your father. May his dear departed soul rest and anchor eternal,” the country’s supreme sports body, the Sports and Recreation Commission posted on their official Twitter handle.
Muripo also took to his Twitter account to dedicate his victory to a number of people but most importantly his late father.
“I dedicate this to a number of people but importantly to my father who left us on Friday while I was on this assignment. Thank you for everything, you raised a champion,” he posted.
This is the second time he has been crowned world champion. 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, Muripo put up a spirited display to win gold. Before his departure to Russia, Muripo had told our Harare Bureau that 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 also speaking to our Harare Bureau, 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. Missing at the opportunity to conquer the world was reigning Sports Woman of the Year Grace Chirumanzu.