Pronk makes history with first participation in K1 Karate Premier League

23 Feb 2019 12:00pm
REHOBOTH, 23 FEB (NAMPA) – Namibian Karate Athlete Suzelle Pronk recently participated in a K1 Premier League event held Dubai, The United Arab Emirates, from 14 to 17 February, becoming the first Namibian to compete in this event despite her first round exit.

A statement availed to Nampa on Friday by Namibia Karate Union (NAKU) said, leading up to the event, Pronk ranked 94th in the world and trained under the watchful eye of Sensei Valdemar Swart as well as with Namibian National Coach Llewellyn Manale, while also training directly under Morgan Moss of South Africa in the prelude to the event.

According to the statement, Pronk drew a tough opponent; Norwegian, Lotte Andersen ranked 44th in the first round, ultimately leading to a first round elimination.

Pronk indicated in the statement that the level of competition at the tournament and its organisation were of the highest order.

“Most athletes at this level are all elite professionals with full sponsorships for karate. So it’s like competing against and with the Ronaldo's and Messi's of karate, which is a pretty amazing experience in itself,” she was quoted as saying.

NAKU congratulated Pronk on her incredible achievement and for inspiring other Namibian Karate athletes to pursue their dreams.

The statement said that in 2019, NAKU hopes to provide numerous opportunities for Namibian Karate athletes to participate internationally in order for them to gather necessary experience and develop their skills as financial constraints are often still a deciding factor when it comes to international participation.

In 2018, Pronk represented Namibia at numerous international events including the Region 5 Karate Championships in Botswana, The Africa Karate Championships in Kigali, Rwanda, and The World Karate Championships in Madrid, Spain.

She was also one of 7 Namibian Karateka athletes to win a medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Karate Championships in Durban, South Africa and ended the year by participating in her first Karate Series A event in Japan.