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Dutch karatekas ready to shine as Karate 1-Premier League about to start in Rotterdam

2018-03-13

The international scene shifts to The Netherlands this week as the Karate 1-Premier League stages its third event on the 2018 calendar with the Karate 1-Premier League Rotterdam starting Friday at the Topsportcenter sports hall. 

The Dutch city hosts a Karate 1-Premier League for the third time as Rotterdam welcomed its first tournament in 2016 followed by a successful event last year. Since 2012, The Netherlands have continued being included in the list of venues of Karate's first-class series of international competitions with the cities of Dordrecht and Almere also hosting events.  

Last year the French and Japanese delegations topped the medal table with four gold medals each. Heroes of the sport such as Ayumi Uekusa of Japan, Xiaoyan Yin of China, and Alexandra Recchia of France, among others, were crowned at the event. In this year's edition, nearly 700 athletes from 74 countries are getting ready to clash for gold in Rotterdam. 

Representatives of the host country are hoping to improve the tally of one medal earned at home in the 2017 edition. Only Rene Smaal managed to take the flag of the organising nation to the podium last season with his silver in Male Kumite -84kg. 

LOCAL KARATEKAS LEADING LOCAL HOPES

The local hopes will be placed on the 20 Dutch athletes competing in front of family and friends in Rotterdam. Among the fan favourites, Tyron-Darnell Lardy heads the expectations of Dutch Karate this weekend. The 21-year-old karateka is the only local athlete who has managed to claim medals this season after taking gold in Karate 1-Series A Guadalajara and silver in Karate 1-Series A Salzburg. However, the 24th-placed in the WKF World Ranking has not had as much luck this season in Karate 1-Premier League since the 2016 U21 European champion suffered an early elimination in Paris and did not compete in Dubai. 

Timothy Petersen will also catch the attention of local fans as he is the best-placed Dutch karateka in WKF World ranking competing in Rotterdam. The current European Championships bronze medallist who is on 17th position on the ranking hopes to repeat the success he achieved in 2016 when the 32-year-old karateka won gold in Male Kumite -84kg. 

Rene Smaal in Male Kumite -75kg and Vanesca Nortan in Female Kumite +68kg are other of the Dutch athletes who have managed to take medals at home in previous editions of the Karate 1-Premier League Rotterdam. While Smaal won silver last year and bronze in 2016, Nortan claimed gold in 2016. 

Samantha Van Lokven in Female Kata, Yamaika Kuijper in Female Kumite -50kg, Lynn Snel in Female Kumite -61kg and Sherilyn Wold in Female Kumite -68kg are among the local karatekas also hoping to cause a sensation at home this weekend. 

The tournament starts Friday with the Female Kata and Male Team Kata competitions, and the first of the Kumite categories. The finals are scheduled for Sunday from 13.30 (GMT) and the awarding ceremony will be held on Sunday at 15:30 (GMT). 

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.

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