Marking the end of a week into SLUG 2019, University of Ruhuna hosted Karate- Kumite matches for both men and women today (1st of September) along with a few other games. Midst the day that poured and the gloomy nature that remained for the entirety of the day, the cheers from the teams rang loud and clear forcing the gloomy weather out of the minds of all.

After the technical meeting to get all the rules and regulations straightened, weighing all competitors, and briefing the players for kata events, the long wait for the beginning of karate ended past mid-day with the whistle that sounded shrilling across the hall. All throughout the day the blue and red belt clad karate players could be seen dancing to the scary rhythm of martial arts, practicing for a perfect delivery at every pause available.

The competitions for the day started with the individual kata events of men and women. 25 female players and 22 male players from the universities around the country participated for the individual kata events. The hall concurrently rang of the kiyais and the cheers of the players and teams giving off vibe of the energy within the sport and keeping everyone at the edge.

Hours flew past with the drills of numerous kata that came one after another in different styles levels of perfection. The initial round was followed by the second round for the selected best 8 players each in men and women events. As the event continued to gauge the best of the best the teams could be seen all too interested and the cheers growing louder along with the confident dachis and the perfect postures that managed to keep everyone’s eyes glues to the tatamis. The battle ended making University of Sabaragamuwa victorious in the men’s individuals and University of Moratuwa in the Women’s. Kelaniya managed to secure the position of 1st runner’s up in men’s and University of Sri Jayawardenapura in women’s, while the men’s and women’s second runner’s up position were secured by the Universities of Moratuwa & Sabaragamuwa and Peradeniya & Kelaniya respectively.

After a break to refresh, the day had already progressed to the evening by the time the team kata events commenced. Teams of three Karatekas entered the tatami, 9 men’s teams and 10 women’s teams. Forming menacing patterns to a beat of their own, the teams drew the eyes and the cheers of the crowds to themselves through the well-coordinated and perfectly choreographed katas. The first rounds of both events ended with the selection of 4 best teams for a second round.

As the second rounds commenced, the katas got more enticing with the bunkais that added to them. Circling round the tatamis showcasing the applications of the katas performed, all the teams did a wonderfully choreographed performance that enthralled the crowd of viewers. From the hits to the expressions, the perfect deliveries of the teams were praiseworthy. Their expressions giving off the terror of the fight and the kiyais that rings of power, the teams battled to give their best in the few minutes they were bounded by.

The day ended making the men’s team kata championship being secured by the University of Moratuwa, while the University of Kelaniya managed to become the 1st runners up. Universities of Colombo and Sabaragamuwa shared the position of 2nd runners-up. In the women’s event, University of Kelaniya won the gold medal while University of Moratuwa became the 1st runners-up. The joint 2nd runner-up position was secured by the University of Sri Jayawardenapura and University of Visual and Performing arts.

Kata for SLUG 2019 ended but still the Kumite matches remains. Will the victorious teams manage to continue the trend? Or will the tomorrow’s kumite matches manage to change the winds? Stay tuned with MoraSpirit for more to come.


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