Best(er) of the best: South Coast’s Thinus crowned SA karate champ

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By Quintin van Jaarsveld

Thinus Bester starred as South Coast karateka proved they are among the best in the country at the South African National Championships for cadets and juniors, which took place at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg at the weekend.

Thinus, Tyler Hogan, Seth Bezuidenhout and Camden Wijburg from Suid-Natal Martial Arts Academy participated in the national competition, which received a significant boost in entries this year, and more than held their own.

Thinus, who recently became both the kata and kumite provincial champion, was crowned the South African U12/13 kata champion.

He will represent South Africa at the Zone Six Championships in Durban on 22-24 May.

Suid-Natal Martial Arts Academy sensei Coenie Very with Thinus Bester.
Suid-Natal Martial Arts Academy sensei Coenie Very with Thinus Bester.

His clubmates also impressed and narrowly missed out on places in their respective medal contests.

Suid-Natal Martial Arts Academy Sensei Coenie Vrey, who travelled with the karateka as assistant coach of the KwaZulu-Natal team, said he’s proud of the South Coast competitors, who he felt punched above their weight.

“I’m very proud of not only Thinus but all our South Coast boys,” Vrey told eHowzit.

“Some of the top youngsters focus solely on karate and don’t play any other sport, they specialise in karate, that’s how professional it’s become, even at such a young age.

“If you take that into consideration, and the fact that there were about 30 karateka in each division, our South Coast boys did very well.”

Vrey said his star students’ strong showings were a result of their dedication and hard work.

“They trained extremely hard for this event. They came to my house straight from rugby practice to put in two extra hours of training four nights a week, and still did their normal training at the academy, and their hard work paid off.”

Thinus Bester stands tall as South African champion.
Thinus Bester stands tall as South African champion.

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