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The Madibaz full-contact karate team relived former glories when they took gold at the University Sports South Africa tournament in Vanderbijlpark recently.

After two years of falling short of their title-winning feats, the Mandela University outfit finally found their way back onto the podium following a medal haul of 28, of which 18 were golds.
Guided by coaches Sango Mbinyashe (full-contact) and Adré Weideman (semi-contact), the Madibaz reaped the rewards of a carefully designed training programme to emulate their pre-Covid performances of 2018 and 2019.
Mbinyashe and Weideman, who were appointed as mentors of their respective disciplines last year, focused solely on restoring the university’s status as a powerhouse of the sport.
Mbinyashe, among the medal winners with a gold in the advanced kata and silver in the under-70kg kumite categories, explained that they had done everything in their power beforehand to give the team the best possible chance of working their way back up the rankings.
One example was inviting senseis from around Gqeberha to offer their expertise to the team.
“We covered every aspect of the sport,” Mbinyashe, who is a believer in an academics-first approach, said.
Weideman added that they had also introduced more efficient structures to assist the students in their pursuit of excellence and that the input of Madibaz Sport’s management had been critical in achieving this.
“We concentrated on being a lot more prepared for training,” she said.
This included making sure they had access to good venues as well as transport for club members so that the latter only had to focus on their development.
After earning nine medals in the semi-contact discipline at the USSAs last year, Weideman said their goal had been to achieve double digits this time round.
To assist them in their quest, they fielded an additional team-member and entered more divisions.
“But to come back with 12 gold medals and one silver was beyond expectations,” she said of the team’s bronze-medal performance.
The standout results for her were Luchay Weideman’s four golds and two silvers and Arden Harris’s three golds and a silver.
Full Madibaz results:
Women, advanced: Sinazo Kunene (gold), Busisiwe Ngwane (silver); intermediate: Amanda Gumede (bronze)
Men, advanced: Sango Mbinyashe (gold); intermediate: Zukile Chagi (silver)
Team, advanced: Madibaz (gold); intermediate: Madibaz (bronze) 
Open:  Busisiwe Ngwane (gold); U70kg: Sango Mbinyashe (silver)
Women, U65kg: Sinazo Kunene (bronze) 
Men, U60kg: Zukile Chagi (silver); U65kg: Inganathi Ginqgini (bronze); U70kg: Athandile Kwetana (gold); U75kg: Kwazi Zwezwe and Rhinos Mpofu (tied bronze); Open: Lesego Nkoana (gold)
Luchay Weideman (four golds), Arden Harris (three golds, one silver), Nezaan Swartz (four golds), Carlyn Camineth (one gold)

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