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Favourites take spotlight in second day of Karate 1-Premier League Istanbul


Karate’s front-runners took the spotlight in day 02 of action of the Karate 1-Premier League Istanbul. The top favourites lead the way to the finals in the second day which had Japan’s Ryo Kiyuna, Switzerland’s Elena Quirici, Austria’ Alisa Buchinger and Iranian representatives as big stars. 

The Male Kata competition will see an all-Japan clash for gold since Ryo Kiyuna and Kazumasa Moto will meet in the final. World champion Ryo Kiyuna returned to the first-class Karate competition after missing the last two events, and he kicked his way to the title-deciding bout with an almost perfect performance. Kiyuna won all his matches by unanimous decision except the 4-1 victory over fellow team-mate Tayuka Uemura to compete in his third final this year.

Japan’s Kazumasa Moto will try to upset the big favourite to top off his surprising qualification to the final. The winner of both Karate 1-Series A tournaments in Guadalajara and Salzburg surprised front-runner and Grand Winner Damian Quintero with an excellent demonstration of ‘Anan’ kata so to reach his first Karate 1-Premier League final. 


After becoming one of the stars of the European Championships barely one month ago, Switzerland’s Elena Quirici continued demonstrating top form. The current continental champion qualified to the final of Female Kumite -68kg after upsetting Grand Winner Irina Zaretska of Azerbaijan 4-2 in semi-finals and will try to win her second consecutive gold medal in Istanbul. 

“I feel really happy! After the European Championships I am again in the final, that’s really good,” said the winner of the 2017 Karate 1-Series A Istanbul. “Of course I want to win gold, but I also want to enjoy fighting, that is the most important thing for me”, added the 24-year-old karateka. 

The Swiss wonder will clash for gold against Mizuki Kikuchi of Japan. Extending Japan’s successful count of medals today, the young Japanese karateka qualified for her first Karate 1-Premier League final following her 2-0 victory over Algeria’s Chaima Midi in semi-finals. 


Bouncing back from a four-month injury, Alisa Buchinger of Austria produced an impressive comeback to qualify for her first final this year. The current world champion showed efficiency throughout all her bouts; after passing the pool round with a total of 3-0 in three bouts, the defending world title-holder defeated Japan’s Ayami Moriguchi to be in her first Karate 1-Premier League final in over a year. 

“I am very happy because after my injury, my first competition was the European Championships and I was not very pleased with my results. Now for me, this is the best feeling that I can have after the injury,” said Buchinger. 

World champion Buchinger will try to upset local fans’ hopes since her rival in the final will be Turkey’s Merve Coban. The Turkish karateka edged France’s Andrea Brito 1-0 to qualify for the right to fight for gold at home. 

Iran completed a memorable day by placing two of their representatives in the final. Mahdi Khodabakh reached the last day of competition in Male Kumite -84kg, and he will clash for gold against FYR of Macedonia’s Berat Jakupi. Meanwhile, Saleh Abazari qualified for the final of Male Kumite +84kg after producing forceful demonstration in the semi-final against local karateka Alparsan Yamanoglu (5-2). The Iranian karateka will meet in the title-deciding bout against Tyron-Darnell Lardy of The Netherlands. 

Local fans will also have reasons to celebrate on Sunday since Meltem Hocaoglu qualified for the final of Female Kumite +68kg. The Turkish karateka edged Algeria’s Imene Atif 1-0 and will fight for gold against Finland’s Tita Keinanen. The Finish karateka who had got gold at the Karate 1-Premier League Rabat defeated Italy’s Clio Ferracuti 1-0 to clash for her second consecutive final. 

The competition will conclude on Sunday with the bronze medal and final bouts. The final day of action of the Karate 1-Premier League Istanbul will be broadcast to a worldwide viewing audience on many TV Networks around the world and on KARATEWORLD.TV.

CLICK HERE to go to KarateWorld.TV.

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