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Asian rising karatekas take the spotlight at AKF Championships

2017-07-14

The Asian Karate Championships are underway in Astana (Kazakhstan), and the upcoming figures of the sport in the continent caught the attention of fans in the first days of competition. The event started with the Cadet, Junior & U21 tournament featuring the future stars of Asian Karate. 

Japanese and Iranian karatekas showed power at the event since representatives of the two countries dominated the podium in most of the categories. Iran finished with an impressive tally of 32 medals and outstanding 16 golds, while the Japanese delegation claimed 26 medals and eight golds. Hosts of Kazakhstan also had the opportunity to see the flag of their country in the final podiums since local karatekas claimed 18 medals and seven golds. 

JAPAN AND IRAN PREVAIL IN KATA 

The domination of Japan and Iran was stated especially in the Kata categories. Absolutely all the kata competitions at stake were taken by karatekas from the two countries. Iranian representatives won gold in Junior Kata Female, Kata Team Cadet and Junior Female, Kata Team Cadet and Junior Male and in U21 Kata Female. Meanwhile, Japanese karatekas took gold in Cadet Kata Female, Cadet Kata Male, Junior Kata Male and U21 Kata Male. 

Iran’s Fatemeh Sadeghi Dastak confirmed her favourite status as the 2015 World Junior, Cadet and U21 champion silver medallist prevailed in U21 Kata Female. Japan’s Yuhei Horiba demonstrated that he is one star to watch since the 2013 World Cadet and Junior champion who had achieved an impressive bronze medal at Karate 1-Premier League Paris this year took his second consecutive gold at underage continental level with his victory in U21 Kata Male. 

GREAT LEVEL OF COMPETITION IN KUMITE

In the Kumite competition, young athletes showcased a surprising level of performance so to prove how hard the work of development of new top karatekas is in Asian countries. 

Among the many young karatekas taking the spotlight in Astana, Tareg Hamedi of Saudi Arabia continued making a name for himself at high-level events; after earning gold at the WKF Karate 1 Youth Cup less than two weeks ago, the 2015 World Junior, Cadet and U21 champion won his second consecutive continental crown in the U21 Kumite Male +84kg category. 

Meanwhile, Jordan’s Bashar Alnajjar became continental the champion in U21 Kumite Male -55kg and increased his tally of awards of two gold medals in 2016 Karate 1-Premier Leagues in Rabat and Sharm El Sheikh. 

Local karateka Moldir Zhangbyrbay took the home ground factor in her favour and prevailed in U21 Kumite Female -50kg thus reaching the top of the podium for the first time in front of family and friends. 

The event was also marked by karatekas surprising and winning gold in their first appearances in major international competitions. That was the case of Avisan Bagheri of Iran in U21 Kumite Female -55kg, Yuki Kujuro of Japan in U21 Kumite Female -61kg, Vahedi Shaghayegh of Iran in U21 Kumite Female -68kg or Elyas Mohammadzadeh of Iran in U21 Kumite Male -75kg, among others. 

The event will continue on Saturday with the Senior competition. 

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