MORE than 60 athletes are expected to compete in the National Karate Championships today in Suva.
Karate Fiji general secretary Angela Birch said 61 athletes had confirmed their participation for the Sun Insurance-sponsored event at the Yat Sen Secondary School hall.
She said they were expecting improvements in the performance as they were looking for potential national reps for the Pacific Games next year in Papua New Guinea.
"There are five dojos competing Goju Ryu Lautoka, Lautoka Shotokan, Karate Nadi, Suva Goju Ryu and YMCA," Birch said.
"And we have confirmed 61 athletes for the competition."
"The last event we had was last year and they have been training very hard and so we are expecting to see improvements.
"The Nationals, the Oceania Championships next month and the World Championships later this year are all gearing up the athletes for the Pacific Games next year."
National coach Sensei Anthony Hails said the National Championship was a good ground for the athletes to show that they had been following the training program he had set for them earlier this year.
The National Championships is a buildup towards the Oceania Karate Championships that would be held from September 11 to 13 at the Vodafone Arena in Suva.