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Karate fan favourites lead Olympic standings


Karate Stars and current World champions head the Olympic standings after the Karate 1-Premier League Paris. The ranking of karatekas in the quest to become the first Olympic athletes of the sport has been updated after the first big event of the season. Fan favourites are now taking the lead in WKF’s Olympic categories. 

The Olympic standings are headed by Japan’s Ryo Kiyuna, Ken Nishimura, Kiyou Shimizu, Miho Miyahara and Ayumi Uekusa, France’s Steven Dacosta, Germany’s Jonathan Horne and China’s Xiaoyan Yin. 

In Male Kata, current World champion and Grand Winner Ryo Kiyuna of Japan maintains the lead of the standings following his victory in Karate 1-Premier League Paris. Spain’s Damian Quintero holds the second position at nearly 1600 points, while Turkey’s Ali Sofuoglu, Venezuela’s Antonio Diaz and Italy’s Mattia Busato take the rest of the qualifying spots. 

Representatives of the host nation of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 also lead in Female Kata, since the category is topped by Kiyou Shimizu. The two-time World champion and current World Championships runner-up prevailed in Karate 1-Premier League Paris and takes a slim margin of 225 points over second-placed and defending World champion Sandra Sanchez of Spain. Mo Sheung Grace Lau of Hong Kong China, Viviana Bottaro of Italy and Egypt’s Sarah Sayed complete the list of athletes in qualifying positions. 

Three other categories are dominated by Japanese athletes thus extending to the fifth position the karatekas who would eventually earn the ticket to Tokyo 2020. 

In Male Kumite -75kg, Japan’s Ken Nishimura used his victory in Karate 1-Premier League Paris to reach the top position in the standings. Luigi Busa of Italy takes the second place while World champion Bahman Asgari Ghoncheh of Iran, Grand Winner Rafael Aghayev of Azerbaijan and Abdalla Mamduh Abdelaziz of Egypt are also on top places.  

After claiming medals in the last three major international events, Miho Miyahara of Japan is the leader of Female Kumite -55kg. The current World champion claimed silver in Karate 1-Premier League Paris and keeps a difference of 1260 points over second-placed Dorota Banasczzyk of Poland. The other spots in the standings are taken by Grand Winner Serap Ozcelik of Turkey and Tzu-Yun Wen of Chinese Taipei. Germany’s Shara Hubrich would take the last Olympic ticket due to the merging of WKF categories. 

The last of the categories ruled by a Japanese athlete is Female Kumite +61kg. With her victory in Karate 1-Premier League Paris after winning the silver medal in the World Championships in Madrid, Ayumi Uekusa is the firm leader of the category. The current Grand Winner from Japan is followed by Azerbaijan’s Irina Zaretska, World champion Eleni Chatziliadou of Greece and Algeria’s Lamya Matoub. The last spot goes to Egypt’s Shymma Aboualyazed for the merging of categories. 

Two other World champions are taking the advantage of their crown in Karate’s biggest event to keep the leadership of the Olympic standings. France’s Steven Dacosta heads the Male Kumite -67kg category following his World title and his impressive triumph at the Karate 1-Premier League Paris. At only 30 points, World champion Angelo Crescenzo of Italy is also using his world title to stay on top of the Olympic category. Brazil’s Vinicius Figueira and Morocco’s Abdessalam Ameknassi take the other two places in the standings while the first Japanese athlete is Naoto Sago. 

Meanwhile, World champion and current Grand Winner Jonathan Horne of Germany is the leader of Male Kumite +75kg. The German ace could not finish with a medal in Karate 1-Premier League Paris and keeps a slim margin of 112.5 points over World champion Ivan Kvesic of Croatia. Ugur Aktas of Turkey and Sajad Ganjzadeh of Iran claim the two other spots. Ryutaro Araga is the first athlete from the host country on the standings. 

Even though she could not take a medal in Paris, China’s Xiaoyan Yin tops the Female Kumite -61kg category. The current World Championships runner-up is the first with only 105 points over Giana Lotfy of Egypt. World champion Jovana Prekovic of Serbia and Bitissam Sadini of Morocco are placed in third and fourth positions respectively. The first-placed Japanese is Mayumi Someya. 

The top four athletes in each one of the Olympic categories will qualify to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Karatekas earn points according to their participation in major tournaments with the Karate 1-Premier League taking a significant relevance in the allocation of points for the Olympic standings. 

CLICK HERE to go to the Olympic standings.      

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