Written by World Karate Federation
When the last of the winners of the Karate competition at The World Games received their medals and the closing ceremony put an end to the thrilling tournament, all the members of the Karate family participating at the event in Wroclaw (Poland) shared the feeling of having lived a historical moment for the sport.
Rising karatekas shocked favorites at The World Games. (WKF)
The World Games 2017 which were held in Wroclaw (Poland) this past week represented the last participation of Karate in the multi-sport event before the Olympic debut of the discipline in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. This last edition of The World Games was considered memorable by the Karate family since many surprises took over the competition and all the categories were full of emotional moments.
“I had been working hard for this competition for a long time,” said Japan’s Kiyou Shimizu. “My intention is to focus on reaching my top level at the Olympic Games, and The World Games are an important stepping stone in this goal. I know I can be even better and I am putting my mind into it,” pointed out the winner of the Female Kata competition who added the crown at The World Games to her impressive tally of two world titles, five golds in Karate 1-Premier League, one continental title and two titles in underage World Championships. Her outstanding performance in Wroclaw was so remarkable that she was selected one of the Athletes of the Day of the event.
“I have learned a lot from The World Games. I hope that this recognition will contribute to further introduce Karate to the world,” said the Japanese Kata queen.
PRESENTING KARATE TO THE WORLD
The best karatekas in the world gathered in Wroclaw for a thrilling tournament. (WKF)
The 92 competitors from 39 countries and five continents that participated at The World Games were aware of the historical moment that they were living as they stepped into the tatami of the GEM Sports centre in Wroclaw.
“The World Games are a great opportunity to share our sport with the world and to show how World Karate Federation great Karate is. All of the competitors here are the best of the best and every bout is like a final. It is also a great chance to represent our country,” said Chile’s Rodrigo Rojas.
“It was really exciting to be at this event, with so many World champions and continental champions battling out for gold. It was a great experience,“ said New Zealand’s Alexandrea Anacan.
The event was even more memorable for the athletes representing the host nation. “I am from Wroclaw; for me, Wroclaw is the best city in the world so I am very happy that I had the opportunity to compete here in front of family. Reaching semifinals was an even better reason for me to be happy,” said Poland’s Magdalena Nowakowska. Polish fans had plenty of reasons to celebrate since local heroe Michal Babos claimed bronze at the Male Kumite +84kg category.
NEW KARATE HEROES
The Karate competition at The World Games comprised the two modalities of the ancient discipline, Kata and Kumite. Japan topped the medal table of the event with a tally of seven medals thus confirming their powerhouse status in the sport. The delegations of France and Iran also registered successful performances with four and five medals, respectively.
The Karate competition at The World Games left plenty of memorable moments (WKF)
The competition in Wroclaw will go down in the history of the sport for stating the domination of top competitors and for introducing new and upcoming stars. The two-day tournament was a memorable quest of Karate athletes to make a name for themselves ahead of the upcoming challenge to reach the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Ryo Kiyuna and Kiyou Shimizu of Japan in Male and Female Kata, Japan’s Ayumi Uekusa in Female Kumite +68kg and France’s Alexandra Recchia in Female Kumite -50kg were the star competitors who managed to claim gold at the last editions of both the World Championships and The World Games. This double crown made them the big heroes of the event and put them at the front in the race to Karate’s Olympic debut.
“Every match is important from now to Tokyo 2020, which is the goal that we all have on our minds, so I am trying to get better in every bout. I still have a lot of room for improvement and World Karate Federation. I hope I can still grow my performance,” said Ryo Kiyuna who continued his winning streak of nearly four years in Male Kata.
Surprises dominated the Kumite event at The World Games. (WKF)
“It was a great source of pride and joy for me to win gold at The World Games,” said Alexandra Recchia. “Now I have won almost every competition that I could win. I am just taking steps so I can make my dream of winning gold at the Olympic Games come true,” added the World and European champion.
Underdogs also took the spotlight in Wroclaw, as rising karatekas surprised in a demonstration of the excitement that dominates high-level Karate. Among the dazzling new names are Algeria’s Lamya Matoub and Azerbaijan’s Firdovsi Farzaliyev who claimed their first gold medals in international competitions in Female Kumite -68 kg and Male Kumite -60 Kg respectively, Peru’s Alexandra Grande who only had two golds in Karate 1 tournaments under her belt, and France’s Steven Da Costa who prevailed in Male Kumite -67kg at only 20 years old.
“This victory is for my family, for my coach and for my country. I have been through a lot in the sport and now I just want to cry and celebrate this gold medal. I will remember this moment for the rest of my life”, said Peru’s Alexandra Grande after her victory.
CELEBRATION OF KARATE VALUES
Karate action caught the attention of fans around the world. (WKF)
The World Games were taken by the Karate family as an opportunity to showcase the values of the modality in a multi-sport event. The tradition and spirit of the Kata competition and the action and respect of the Kumite tournament were some of the unique principles that were displayed at the Karate event in Wroclaw.
“We have demonstrated that we can give an added value to multi-sports events such as The World Games. In the two days of competition in Wroclaw we have showed the world the singularity and magnificence of Karate. I am sure that everyone had the chance to see how spectacular our sport is and how great it is the support this sport receives from all over the world. After such a memorable event in Wroclaw, we are even more proud of our sport and we are even more prepared for the exciting new challenges ahead of us,” said WKF President Antonio Espinós.
Written by World Karate Federation
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