Pronk makes Namibia proud

Suzelle Pronk becomes the first Namibian to compete at the K1 Premier League.

24 February 2019 | Sports

During the K1 Premier League event held Dubai last week, local Karateka Suzelle Pronk made her country proud since she is the first Namibian to participate at the event.

Leading up to the competition, Pronk ranked 94th in the world, training under the watchful eye of Sensei Valdemar Swart, national coach Llewellyn Manale, and South Africa’s Morgan Moss in the prelude to the event.

According to the Namibia Karate Union (NAKU), Pronk drew a tough opponent, Norwegian Lotte Andersen (who is ranked 44th), ultimately leading to a first round elimination.

In a statement issued by NAKU, Pronk said 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.

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 seven 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.

NAKU congratulated Pronk on her incredible achievement and for inspiring other Namibian Karate athletes to pursue their dreams. In the coming year, NAKU hopes to provide numerous opportunities for Namibian Karateka to participate internationally 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. -

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