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Grand Winners dominate day 1 of #Karate1Dubai

2019-02-15

The current Grand Winners showed strength in the first day of action at the Karate 1-Premier League Dubai. The current owners of the Best of the Best award performed at an outstanding level today and earned spots in the finals of the second stop of Karate's biggest event. 

Spain’s Sandra Sanchez and Japan’s Kiyou Shimizu confirmed their status as the biggest forces in the Female Kata category and will once again clash for gold at the event. One of the most thrilling confrontations of the sport nowadays, the bout featuring Sandra Sanchez and Kiyou Shimizu will be a repetition of the final of the opening event of the season in Paris. 

Both Karate Stars excelled in their favourite Katas -Chantanyara Kushanku for Shimizu and Papuren for Sanchez – and the two top medallists of the last World Championships headed their groups to qualify to be in the last day of the tournament. 

“After the Karate 1-Premier League in Paris, I just had a short break and now I got to be here in Dubai to try again. Kata athletes are getting used to the new point system and it is being difficult sometimes. In my case, I try to make the best possible kata so I don’t get points deducted in the score. In the final, I would like to follow this idea and I will try to perform an aggressive kata,” said current World Championships silver medallist Kiyou Shimizu.  

Japanese karatekas will also have representation in the finals of kumite categories. Following Shimizu’s qualification, Yunosuke Minami took the second final spot for the delegation of the birth nation of the sport. The young Japanese karateka qualified for the final of Male Kumite -60kg in his first major success in senior competitions after winning bronze at the World Junior Championships. The promising Japanese karateka surprised World champion Angelo Crescenzo of Italy in semi-finals (3-1) and will clash for gold against Kazakhstan’s Darkhan Assadilov. The karateka from Kazakhstan had claimed bronze in the opening event of the season in Paris and beat Grand Winner Eray Samdan of Turkey in semi-finals (1-0). 

GRAND WINNERS CONTINUE WINNING STREAK 

Turkey’s Serap Ozcelik continued on top form and reached her third consecutive final in Karate 1-Premier League. After winning gold in Paris, the current World Championships runner-up made it again as she qualified for the title-deciding bout in Female Kumite -50kg following a 3-0 victory over Germany’s Shara Hubrich. 

The current Grand Winner from Turkey will clash for gold against Katerina Kryva of Ukraine. The Ukrainian karateka got a medal for the last time in June 2018 at the Karate 1-Premier League Istanbul where she got bronze, and now she qualified for her first Karate 1-Premier League final in nearly three years. Katerina Kryva defeated Philippines’ Junna Tsukii by 1-0 in the semi-final.  

Also extending his domination of the category, Grand Winner Steven Dacosta qualified for his third consecutive final with another successful performance. The gold medallist of Karate 1-Premier League Paris and current World champion and Grand Winner of Male Kumite -67kg beat Stefan Pokorny of Austria in semi-finals (3-0). His rival in the final will be Kazakhstan’s Didar Amirali. In the second success of Kazakhstan’s delegation today, the young karateka who claimed bronze in Paris defeated Iran’s Hamoon Derafshipour in semi-finals to qualify for his first Karate 1-Premier League final. 

With Grand Winner Sara Cardin absent due to an injury, it was former Grand Winner Anzhelika Terliuga taking the spotlight in Female Kumite -55kg. The Ukrainian fan favourite who was the Grand Winner of the category last season prevailed in the tournament and managed to make it to her third consecutive final in major events. The winner of Karate 1-Premier League Paris edged Salma Elshafi of Egypt in semi-finals by “Hantei” or decision and will clash for gold on Sunday.

The final of the category will see a first-class confrontation since Anzhelika Terliuga will meet Chinese Taipei’s Tzu-Yun Wen. The current Asian champion who won bronze in the last World Championships defeated Valeria Kumizaki of Brazil by a slim 1-0 in semi-finals.  

The last category of the day saw legends of the sport head-to-head in the last rounds. Luigi Busa of Italy used his experience to defeat star Tom Scott of the USA in semi-finals (3-1). The Italian ace reached his first final this year after taking silver at the World Championships in Madrid. 

Meanwhile, in the other semi-final, Grand Winner Rafael Aghayev could not qualify for the last bout this time since Bahman Asgari Ghoncheh of Iran proved too strong. In an offensive Karate showdown, the current World champion from Iran defeated the five-time World title-holder by 2-0 thus qualifying for his first Karate 1-Premier League final this season. 

The action will continue in day 2 of the Karate 1-Premier League Dubai with the rest of the categories at stake. The final day of the competition will be streamed LIVE on karateworld.tv. 

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