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Nigerian karate on its way to Olympic Games, says Purgatorio 


Marco Purgatorio with the winners at the recent First Rivers State Karate and Kickboxing Championship in Port Harcourt.

A member of the Nigeria Karate Federation board, Marco Purgatorio says he believes the country’s athletes would soon be eligible to fight and win medals at the Olympic Games and World Championships.

Purgatorio, whose company Plantgeria supported the just concluded First Rivers National Karate and Kick Boxing Championship, also thinks that with the level of awareness Karate is generating among the youths, Nigeria will soon become the hub of the sport in Africa.

Describing the National Karate and Kickboxing Championship as timely, he says it will put the combat athletes in good stead ahead of next month’s National Sports Festival scheduled for Abuja.

Revealing that the First Rivers National Karate and Kickboxing Championship was in honour of late Sensei Victor Bassey, who contributed to the development of karate and kick boxing in Nigeria, Purgatorio said the championship has given stakeholders a mirror of what to expect at the festival.

“There is hardly any known fighter today that did not pass through the late Sensei Victor Bassey or related with him,” Purgatorio said, adding, “we are all aware that the National Sports Festival is three weeks away. I can assure you that the fighters in this championship are the face you will see in Abuja.

“I am so passionate about this two combat sports that was why I sponsored the first Karate and Kick Boxing National Championship,” he added.

He expressed optimism that in future a Nigerian karate fighter and kick boxer will not only fight at the Olympics and World Championship, but will also be champion.

Purgatorio also advised sporting federations to engage the services of professional sports marketers to help woo private and cooperate investors to their federations, saying, “Nigeria is blessed with talented fighters in karate and kick boxing, that is why I am certain that in no distant time, the green white green colours of Nigeria will not just be at the World Championship and Olympic Games, but will also be on the medals table.”

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