Three talented karatekas of the Shotokan Dojo club in Thaba Nchu won gold, silver and bronze at this year’s Free State Cheetah karate tournament held recently at the Tempe Military Base in Bloemfontein. Gold medal winners were Kopanang Molawa (kata, 8 and 9 years) and Thato Mekgwe (kumite, 10 and 11 years), while Gomolemo Thubisi won a bronze medal (kumite, 11 and 12 years). The trio is part of a group of youngsters, boys and girls, currently being developed by experienced karate trainer Sensei Olebogeng Mekgwe. The three boys’ achievement is a reward for the club, which turns one this year. Mekgwe was buoyant about the achievement, saying the boys were reaping the benefits of hard work. He said the annual championship was a good preparation for them for when they went to the trials to select the Free State squad to represent the province at a national tournament later this year. The provincial trial will be held on 15 and 16 September in Bloemfontein.The club has relocated to train near the Seloshesha police station in Thaba Nchu. Previously, the club utilised the St Augustine Primary School. Mekgwe cited distance as the reason for the relocation, which was done to attract more potential karatekas. Although most of the karatekas are youngsters, Mekgwe said adults interested in acquiring skills for self-defence were welcome to participate. The club now trains for three days, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 16:00 untill 17:30.