Indian karate team inked a record by winning 51 medals (32 gold, nine silver and 10 bronze) to top medal tally of three-day 5th Cadet, Junior, Under 21 & Senior South Asian Karate Championship (SAKC) which concluded at Bangladesh capital Dhaka on Saturday. Sri Lanka and host Bangladesh secured 2nd and 3rd place.
The credit for this spectacular victory goes to Karate Association of India (KAI) president Hanshi Likha Tara who had led the national team to the global championship first time after getting elected to the prestigious position in January last, KAI referee Sensei Bulang Marik said.
However, seven karatekas of Hanshi Tara’s native state Arunachal Pradesh have added eight medals to (6 gold, 1 each silver and bronze) to national medal tally. In fact, he was instrumental in forming Arunachal Karate-Do Association in 1992 as founder-president, simpleton Tara went to Japan for training in 2000 to receive Black Belt 1st Dan and for month-long training again under Japan Karate Association to get Black Belt 2nd Dan and joined World Karate-Do Federation (WKF).
His training continued to get Black Belt 7th Dan from WKF and honoured with Shihan title as a senior trainer. He was awarded Black Belt 8th Dan (Hachi Dan) by KAI Technical Committee and Executive Council of in June last appreciating his good administrative and excellent work for karate to fly Indian tri-colour globally and received the Hanshi title. There are only four Indians with Hanshi title, the highest rank in karate.
His contribution to the martial art led him to become joint secretary of KAI and later rose to the rank of VP in 2014, besides being elected president of North East Karate-Do Federation of India before being elected KAI president in January 2019. His global contributions have made him number two vice president among office bearers Commonwealth Karate Federation representing 53 nations.
Indian karatekas led by Hanshi Tara, KAI president joint secy Sensei Rajesh Agarwal, Sensei Marik, coach Sensei Krittan and head coach Sensei S. Deben Sharma arrived Kolkata on Sunday. Arunachal team in expected to reach here in Monday, Marik added.
This justifies the common adage “Arunachalees kisi se kum neheen” and more global laurels could be expected with confidence as Hanshi Tara works out strategy silently to train karatekas to achieve a set target. If ‘morning shows the days’, the Dhaka result has raised hopes of Indians for their karatekas to rise to much higher pedestal in global karate map, an senior administrator of KAI said.