Samantha Van Lokven leads local hopes at #Karate1Rotterdam while keeping up with hectic life
At 23-years-old Samantha Van Lokven knows one thing or two about the sacrifices of the life of the high-level athlete. As many first-class karatekas from all over the world, the Dutch kata ace has been counting the days to the anticipated Karate 1-Premier League Rotterdam being held this weekend at the Topsportcenter sports hall. Samantha Van Lokven will also have the responsibility of representing the host country at the event.
At 23-years-old, Samantha Van Lokven knows one thing or two about the sacrifices of the life of the high-level athlete. As many first-class karatekas from all over the world, the Dutch kata ace has been counting the days to the anticipated Karate 1-Premier League Rotterdam being held this weekend at the Topsportcenter sports hall. Samantha Van Lokven will be one of the competitors representing the host country at the event.
“It is a real honour to participate as the only Dutch kata athlete at the Karate 1-Premier League Rotterdam next to the best athletes in the world. I work very hard to reach the highest level,” said the seven-time national champion.
Many months of hard training will be put into action starting this Friday when the first ‘Rei’ will open the tournament. Samantha Van Lokven spearheads the 20 Dutch karatekas hoping to succeed at home. The local athletes aim at using the home-ground factor in their favour so to improve the moderate performance of competitors from the host country in previous editions of the Karate 1-Premier League Rotterdam.
The 2017 event ended with only one award for The Netherlands - Rene Smaal’s silver medal in Male Kumite -84kg. In 2016, the Dutch delegation also claimed only one medal, Geoffrey Berens’ gold in Male Kumite -60kg. Samantha Van Lokven has never reached the podium in major international events, a situation which the promising karateka is hoping to change this weekend in front of family and friends.
“As my sensei and I always say: it’s lonely on the top. But this is my dream and I will do anything to make it happen. I don’t give up! This time at the Karate 1-Premier League Rotterdam I will get the support from my mother who is coming to watch. So that would be very nice!”, said Van Lokven.
“LOTS OF PASSION AND LOVE FOR KARATE”
The affable karateka headlines a new generation of athletes who are putting Karate first in their quest to make the Olympic dream a reality. This means having to balance high-level competition and training while building a future.
“For two years I have travelled to and fro between my home-town of Tilburg and the city of Leeuwarden, where I train at the top level under the guidance of Raymond Snel. I did this several times every week. This meant to do a journey by train of three and a half hours either way. All of this travelling just to be able to train,” explains Van Lokven.
The 23-years-old is getting her degree in Sports Sciences and has established herself in Leeuwarden to pursue her Karate dreams. Just as hundreds of top athletes around the world like her, Samantha Van Lokven has her mind set, regardless the sacrifices.
“The hardest part is that our country is not “popular” in comparison with the big countries in high-level competition,” said Van Lokven who trains 20 hours per week. “I try to think positive and I try to do it with a lot of passion and love for Karate,” added the rising star.
The Karate 1-Premier League Rotterdam is the third stop of the season of Karate’s first-class series of international tournaments. The competition starts on Friday and will conclude on Sunday with the finals and the crowning of the new champions.
The final day of action of the Karate 1-Premier League Rotterdam will be broadcast to a worldwide viewing audience on many TV Networks around the world and on KARATEWORLD.TV. For a full list of TV Networks and countries CLICK HERE and select your country to see where you can watch the Karate 1-Premier League Rotterdam.
CLICK HERE to go to KarateWorld.TV.