The athlete wanted to use the event to improve his chances of qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Koolopile had to dig deep to raise P37,000 for his flight, accommodation and participation fee, as the trip was self-funded.
He organised a mixed marshal arts festival a fortnight ago, in a bid to raise the funds. However, he failed to raise enough from the event, but a Good Samaritan came to his rescue.
After he had managed to raise the funds, his hopes were shattered when the Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) failed to register him for the Dubai event. This, after Koolopile raised the money late and since only 64 participants were required for the global event, the local karateka missed out.
be held in Morocco in April. I want to complete registration on time to avoid what happened with the Dubai trip,” he said.
BOKA public relations officer, Isaiah Ramontshonyana told Mmegi Sport that only 64 athletes were needed for the competition.
“It is a WKF event, which means competition was tough. It was on a first-come-first-serve basis. By the time he tried to register, spaces were already filled,” he said.
Ramontshonyana said the procedure was that a karateka is given 30 minutes to register and if they do not reply, they are omitted. He said Koolopile took a long time to raise funds because the trip is self-sponsored.
Meanwhile, referees Mpho Bakwadi, Union Kgafela and Boston Rakgampu would represent Botswana at the event. The WKF Dubai Cup starts next Friday.