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Japan top medal table of 2018 AKF Cadet, Junior & U21 Championships


Showcasing their status of major Karate powerhouse, Japan demonstrated their authority at underage level dominating the 2018 AKF Cadet, Junior & U21 Championships. The Japanese representatives prevailed in the competition which was held in Okinawa and topped the medal table with a tally of 24 awards. 

With no less than 14 gold, 5 silver and 5 bronze medals, Japanese karateka shined at home. In front of their audience and in the birth-place of the sport, Japan continued ruling Karate competitions in Asia. The prevalence of karatekas of the country of the rising sun was especially outstanding in the kata categories. All the gold medals in individual Kata competition went to representatives of the host country. Nozomi Yamanaka completed his bronze medal at the World Cadet, Junior & U21 Championships reaching the top of the podium in U21 Male Kata, while 2016 Junior continental champion Saori Ishibashi re-took the title now in U21 Female Kata. In Junior competition, the gold medals in the category of choreographed movements went to Japan’s Mirisa Ohuchi and Aoi Funada, who became one of the heroes of the tournament after claiming the double world-continental crowns. 

In the Junior categories, which are eligible for the upcoming Youth Olympic Games, Japan also showed strength with four gold medals, including Rinka Tahata and Keisei Sakiyama in Kumite. Iran with two gold medals (by Negin Altooni and Fatemeh Khonakdartarsi)  also wrapped up a remarkable performance, while karatekas from Thailand, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia surprised taking the top of the podium in the junior categories. 

Meanwhile, the U21 competition was a showdown between karatekas from Japan and Kazakhstan since the representatives of both countries dominated the categories of rising karatekas, with Japanese athletes taking seven golds and Kazak karatekas claiming three medals. 

In addition to Japan, Kazakhstan with five golds and 17 medals and Iran with five golds and 16 medals also finished the event on a high note. The tournament was held this past week at the Okinawa Prefectural Budo-kan in the Okinawa island of Japan.  

CLICK HERE to get more info about the 2018 AKF Cadet, Junior & U21 Championships including the full list of winners 

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