GABORONE:Minister of Youth Development and Sports Tshekedi Khama declared that Masisi led government will do all in its might to avail karate at Paris 2024 summer Olympics.
Officially opening the UFAK African Karate Championship held in Botswana from July 9 to 15th at UB sports indoor arena,Minister Tshekedi Khama announced that his ministry will persuade the International Olympics Committee(IOC) to accept karate at the next summer games following unfruitful quest to bring karate to the Olympics since as far as 1970s.
In 2009, in the 121st IOC voting, karate did not receive the necessary two-thirds majority vote to become an Olympic sport resulting it being considered for 2020 Olympics.
TSHEKEDI KHAMA ASSURED KARATEKAS
“I want to assure all the officials and all athletes who wanted to compete that my Ministry and myself will play our part in persuading the IOC and the French ministry of sport that karate be accepted at 2024 Olympics.”Said Tshekedi Khama.
Karate which is being featured as one time special event for Tokyo 2020 Olympics is said to have failed as a regular Olympic sport due to lack of unity between World Union of Karate-do Organisations(WUKO) and International Traditional Karate Federation(ITKF) all competing to be representatives of karate at Olympics.
World Karate Federation(WKF) President Antonio Espinós was quoted by the media following news that karate will not be part of the Paris 2024 .
“Our sport has grown exponentially over the last years, and we still haven’t had the chance to prove our value as an Olympic sport since we will be making our debut as an Olympic discipline in Tokyo 2020. Over the last months, we have worked relentlessly, together with the French Federation, to achieve our goal of being included in Paris 2024. We believed that we had met all the requirements and that we had the perfect conditions to be added to the sports program;however, we have learned today that our dream will not be coming true.”Said Espinós.
Meanwhile host nation of Africa Karate Championship for this year’s edition Botswana only settled for position 6 with 11 bronze medals and 2 silver medals.Egypt,Morocco,Senegal and Tunisia erupted into position one,two,three and four respectively
At least 30 countries and over a 1 000 karatekas and officials graced the continental showpiece.