The first edition of the Sunshine Coast Karate Open (SCKO) Championships were held at the Fish River Resort over the weekend of 4-5 August. The Championships were organised by East Cape Shotokan-Ryu under the auspices of United Shotokan-Ryu.
For many Eastern Cape karate athletes and spectators, the Resort has become an iconic venue having hosted numerous karate championship events over the past two decades. The Championships were also used as trials to select a United Shotokan-Ryu Team to compete in Slovakia at the 2019 WUKF Word Championships.
Approximately 300 karateka from sixteen dojos from across the Eastern Cape contested this year’s Championship in categories ranging from novice to elite. Karate styles represented at the Championship included Shotokan-Ryu, Goju-Ryu and Shorin-Ryu. A mere 25 points separated overall winner’s East Cape Shotokan-Ryu (dojos in Grahamstown, Kenton on Sea, Port Alfred and Alicedale) from second placed King Karate Club (King William’s Town). Joza Karate Club (Grahamstown) once again delivered a strong performance to take third position.
Rhodes University student and bronze medallist at this year’s WUKF World Championship, Lutho Singata won the Men’s Open Black Belt Kata Category with Shaun Kapp of Dragon Suburbs Karate Club in Port Elizabeth placing second. The positions were reversed in the Men’s Open Black Belt Kumite Category with Kapp beating Singata by six points to three.
Kayleigh Chamberlain of Western Suburbs Karate Club (Port Elizabeth) won both the Ladies Open Black Belt Kata and Kumite Categories while long-time rival, Tanya De Villiers of Kase-Ha Martial Arts Academy (Port Elizabeth) took the runners-up position in both events.
Other notable local results in the elite categories include Thanduxolo Royi of Joza Karate Club winning gold in both the Junior Mens Kata and Kumite Categories as well as bronze for Senior Men’s Kata, while Tyreece Burger won gold and silver in the Girls 15-17yrs Kumite and Kata Categories.
According to Organiser, Gary Grapentin, the Championship was a tremendous success with large and highly competitive categories specifically in the red to black belt categories. As from 2019 it is envisaged that the Sunshine Coast Karate Open will consist of three annual Championship events staged at exclusive venues along the Sunshine Coast.