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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: L’autre combat de Laurence Fisher

by Frédéric Sugnot

Laurence Fischer’s Other Kumite

Translated Tuesday 7 November 2006, by Hervé Fuyet

Karate. Crowned champion of the world this weekend in Karate combat (Kumite), the thirty-two year old woman karate champion from Marseille also fights in Afghanistan at the sides of the children of the war.

At almost thirty-three years old, Laurence Fischer was crowned world over-60-kg karate champion on Sunday, October 15, in Finland for the second time of her career in individual fights since 1998. Just before hanging up her kimono for good and retiring from sport, she brings back to France its only gold medal in combat from this World championship. “A moment of incredible happiness, just like in Paris with the Afghan girls”, she says!

Funny comparison, but the “Afghan girls” is the other combat of this girl who is Marseillaise by adoption. In August 2005, she led a mission to Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, with the nongovernmental organization "Sports without borders" "to meet and to involve women and child victims of the war who, thanks to karate, open out and rebuild their personalities”. In January of this year, Zohra, Zeiba, Mined and Latifa, beneficiaries of the "Sport and Women in Kabul" program, had taken part in the Paris Open karate competition.

It was a moment of great “happiness” for Laurence Fischer before she takes up more mundane pursuits. Because, in Afghanistan, the Taliban rebels continue to multiply their ambushes and are still spreading terror. Recently, contact was broken between Laurence and the “girls of Kabul”. “I send them emails but I get no answer, I don’t know what is happening. I suppose that they are blocked by curfews… In fact, I don’t know anything…”

She is not giving up, and, with "Athletes of the World", another association founded by Olympic pole-vaulting champion, Jean Galfione, Laurence already envisages returning soon to Afghanistan. In the meantime, she continues with the French karate clubs, and the “Club solidaire” operation, which makes it possible to raise funds for the construction of a multi-sport platform in the valley of Panshir.

Frederic Sugnot

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