Pronk wins silver medal at Beach Games

A local karateka is on top of her game and readying herself for more action this year.

24 June 2019 | Sports

Suzelle Pronk; Karateka; The ultimate goal is to keep growing as an athlete and continue representing Namibia.

Contributed

Swakopmund-based karateka Suzelle Pronk (27) made Namibia proud with a silver medal winning performance for senior female kata at the 1st African Beach Games which took place in Sal, Cape Verde, recently.

Pronk made history, having been the only Namibian karate athlete selected to participate in the 1st African Beach Games. Simply participating was not enough for Pronk, and she set out to dominate her competition, ultimately finishing second overall following Morocco’s Sanae Agalmam.

“This was a first for karate and it was an amazing feeling being a part of it all. I am happy with the performance. Coach Llewellyn Manale and I had a game plan and it payed off, but of course there is a lot of room for improvement. The games overall were very well organised and a great experience. Thumbs up to coach Llewellyn for keeping me cool and calm, and the Namibian Olympic Committee for supporting the athletes and making this possible.”

She says her ultimate goal is to keep growing as an athlete and continue representing Namibia as much as possible throughout 2019 and beyond.

“I hope to better my World Karate Federation world ranking by the end of 2019. My first goal will be the upcoming Junior and Senior Africa Karate Championships in July where I hope to improve on last year’s performance (seventh overall).”

She will continue to train with national coach Manale and the rest of the Namibian national team in preparation for the African Karate Championships which will be held in Gaborone, Botswana, from 9 to 15 July.

Pronk has been making a name in the international karate circuit over the past few years. She started karate at the age of five and is currently a third Dan (Sandan) black belt in Shotokan Karate.

She trains directly under sensei Valdemar Swart of the SKAI Swakopmund Dojo and has been the captain of the Namibia National Karate team since 2018.

Pronk is also currently the highest ranked Namibian Karate Athlete with regards to WKF points, which are crucial if she is to one day qualify for the Olympic Games.

This year has been another eventful year for her. She already participated in two K1 Premier League karate events in Dubai and Morocco.

She acquired two silver and one bronze medal at the 2019 Region 5 Karate Championships which were held in Swakopmund.

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