The 2021 Karate World Olympic Qualification Tournament is set to take place in the next three days on 11th June 2021 in Paris, France but the competition could be without Ghanaian representation as the Ghana Karate-Do Federation (GKF) struggles to secure the funds to send its athletes to the tournament.
This was revealed to The Press Box, by the Technical Director of the association Kwabena Poku who revealed that there is a 50-50 chance of Ghana making the tournament. “As we speak now, preparations are ongoing, we have been training but we are not too sure whether we are going to get funds or not and that is our problem.”
“As of the latter part of last week, we were promised by the ministry [Ministry of Youth & Sports] to be given some money. So our President [Melvin Brown] is currently following that up, and if do [give funding] we will decide as to exactly when we are leaving but it’s still a fifty-fifty chance.”
The 2021 Karate World Olympic Qualification Tournament gives each National Olympic Committee (NOC) in this case the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) an opportunity to register an athlete for each of the four categories for both men and women with the three highest-placed athletes of each category automatically qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
So how has the GOC aided the GKF in their efforts to participate in the tournament? “Yes, they have. In fact, some initial amount was given for preparation and training that won’t take the athletes there [the tournament]. So they [GOC] helped us with some amount of money for preparation, but as to going, tickets and all that it’s the President [Melvin Brown] who has been handling that together with them [GOC].” Mr Poku revealed
According to the Technical Director, the federation is looking to send at least 3 athletes to the tournament “The previous international championships, we got some of our athletes into the medal zone, though they did not win medals they were in the medal zone. So, then their names were picked as potential athletes for the Olympics, those athletes were two; one Humu Yusif and Emmanuel Adjei”
“But then we had a championship locally, it was a kata (form) competition and the person that came up tops in that competition has also been preparing for the forms or the kata competition, so three athletes.” He concluded
The 2021 Karate World Olympic Qualification Tournament is set to take place from 11th – 13th June 2021 at the AccorHotels Arena Sports Hall located in Paris, France.