By Sab Osuji:
The third edition of the Zainab Saleh International Female Open Karate Championship came to a fitting end Saturday at the Molade Okoya-Thomas indoor sports hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos with Lagos dominating the events, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
The five-day championship started with seminar before being climaxed with karate championship.
Chairman of Lagos State Karate Association, Alfred Ohimain, said he was delighted with the massive turn out saying he was delighted with the courage of the sponsor, Hajia Zainab Saleh for keeping the championship going despite the austere period.
“We all know the prevalent economic situation globally and for this woman to still ensure the competition continued is worthy of commendation,” Ohimain told Completesportsnigeria.com.
“Four countries were expected at the karate women championship but apparently because of the global economic meltdown, only Benin Republic attended but not without only two of their strongest women karatekers,” Ohimain added.
President of the Karate Federation of Nigeria, KFN, Chief Donatus Agu-Ejidike, JP, paid glowing tribute to hajiya Zainab Saleh and the Lagos State government for the sustenance of the all women karate championship and reiterated his commitment to make karate more popular and interesting through regular competitions.
“I want to appreciate Hajiya Zainab Saleh for her courage, industry and determination in keeping this championship going.
“I also want to say kudos to Lagos State government, the athletes, coaches, referees and technical officials for ensuring the success of this championship in the face of the economic crunch in the nation.
“I salute your courage and determination.
“I wish to congratulate the world karate family and Nigeria in particular for the inclusion of karate sport in the Olympic family.
“Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games should be our focus now. We can do it if we believe. So let us re-unite and put behind our differences irrespective of our ranks and styles in order to make Nigeria a great sporting nation through karate.
“As President of Karate Federation of Nigeria, KFN, let me reiterate the commitment of the KFN and its determination to make karate sport more popular and more interesting in Nigeria through regular competitions, particularly making it a part of school curriculum in order to enhance school participation and learning of the basic rudiments of karate sport at grassroots level and to catch them young,” Ejidike who is also the Pillar of Sports in Nigeria said.