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Damian Quintero and Sandra Sanchez lead way to gold at Karate 1-Series A in Toledo

2017-06-17

Karate Stars and rising karatekas are showing top form at Karate 1-Series A in Toledo (Spain) being held this weekend. The first medals of the tournament went to local heroes Damian Quintero and Sandra Sanchez who continued their domination in Kata categories.

Damian Quintero earned his third gold this year after his victories in European Championships and Karate 1-Premier League Dubai thus extending his command of Male Kata. The Spanish ace gave local fans reasons to celebrate when the Karate Star defeated Hong Kong's Tsz Man Chris Cheng in the final by unanimous decision.

Spanish domination in Kata continued in the Female category as local heroine Sandra Sanchez claimed her third gold in major international competitions this year. The Karate Star beat fellow teammate Raquel Roy in the all-Spanish final of the tournament.

SURPRISES IN TOLEDO

The rest of the categories are being characterised by the surprising upsets and defeats of favourites.

Hosts will also take home one more medal since Spain's Matias Gomez made it to the last match in Male Kumite -60kg. At the other side of the tatami, the 2016 European champion will clash against Russia's Evgeny Plakhutin who after earning six consecutive bronze medals in six tournaments between 2014 and 2015, reached his first final in Toledo.

In Female Kumite -55kg, Algeria's Saida Djedra shocked and made it to her first final in two international appearances after beating front-runners Valeria Kumizaki of Brazil and Jennifer Warling of Luxembourg, among others. The other finalist is England's Carla Burkitt who will also try to shine in her first final in senior competitions.

Two rising karatekas will also clash for gold in Female Kumite -68kg. Croatia's Ivana Bebek beat USA's Cheryl Murphy to make to the final, while Germany's Johanna Kneer beat Silvia Semeraro of Italy so to try making her name in international competitions after her bronze medal in the European Championships last year.

French delegation also claimed a successful first day of competition. Two of the representatives of the European country, Sophia Bouderbane and Aurore Bourcois surprised and defeated front-runners to fight for gold in Female Kumite -50kg.

Meanwhile, in Female Kumite -61kg, Alexandra Grande of Peru qualified to her first final after her gold in Karate 1-Premier League Salzburg last year and will clash for victory against newcomer Ana Raquel Simao of Portugal who defeated local top karateka Cristina Ferrer to reach her first final.

The rest of the categories will be decided in the final day of action in Toledo on Sunday.

ABOUT KARATE 1-SERIES A

The Karate 1-Series A complement the Karate 1-Premier League and give karatekas from all over the world the opportunity to get point thus increasing their ranking position in a series of thrilling and anticipated events that state the universality of high-level Karate tournaments. The Karate 1-Series A 2017 will stop in Toledo (Spain), Istanbul (Turkey), Salzburg (Austria) and Okinawa (Japan).

(Photo credit: Royal Spanish Karate Federation)

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