Female Karate Championship Kicks Off Amid Controversy And Excitement

There was a mini-drama on the opening day of the Zainab Saleh International Female Open Karate Championship as fans, coaches and umpires had momentary altercations over the scores of one of the bouts at the event.

The event had started with the Karatekas displaying exciting skills at the junior and senior kata categories, but it was at the senior Kumite category that things got a lot more interesting.

Controversy erupted when Onyinye Oge who was fighting Olayinka Omotayo had led 14-11 at full-time. The time-keeper, however, added three seconds, a time that was enough for Omotayo to score 3 more points to tie the match.

Fans and coaches of Oge became agitated as a result and showed their grouse with abusive chants and emotional outbursts.

Oge herself could barely control her emotions as she resorted to crying before tensions were eventually calmed by the organizers. Oge was declared the winner of the bout after series of video reviews by the umpires and judges, reminiscent of the video assistant referee in football.

Other winners at the event include Essien Chinyere, Dorkita Joy and Dauda Bolanle who won the 16+ kata, junior kata, and senior kata categories respectively.

Through to the finals of their categories are Onwungbenu Mary, Oghenewogaga Elizabeth, Nelson Faith, Udeze Faith, Udochukwu Jachi, Godfirst Samson, Udoh Nelson, and Odoulami Marie Stella

The Kata category involves the Karatekas displaying their individual karate skills without fighting each other while the Kumite category is the bout proper.

The event which took place at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Indoor Sports Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium continues on Saturday and concludes on Sunday.