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Karate heroes lead way in day 1 of Karate 1-Premier League Madrid


Serap Ozcelik, Sandra Sanchez, Kiyou Shimizu and Darkhan Assadilov were among the Karate stars prevailing in day 1 of the Karate 1-Premier League Madrid. The last event of the season is being held this weekend in the capital of Spain where the Grand Winners will be decided. 


Just as it happened in all the finals of the Karate 1-Premier League this year, the title of Female Kata will go to either Kiyou Shimizu of Japan or Sandra Sanchez of Spain. After winning three crowns respectively, and after claiming the same number of points this season, the final bout in Madrid will decide who is dominating the category and who will be the next Grand Winner. Sandra Sanchez used the home-ground factor to qualify for the final after claiming 26.68 points with “Papuren” kata in the last round. Meanwhile, current World Championships runner-up Shimizu made it to the final after taking 26.6 points with “Chatanyara Kushanku” kata. 


Representatives of Kazakhstan dominated Male Kumite -60kg as two athletes from the Asian country will meet in the final. Darkhan Assadilov demonstrated his new Grand Winner status and qualified for his fourth final of Karate 1-Premier League this season. The Kazakh athlete who is one of the sensations of the year in the competition defeated current Grand Winner Eray Samdan of Turkey in semi-finals 2-0. 

The other spot in the final is also taken by a Kazakh athlete. Kaisar Alpysbay surprised favourites and made it to his second final this year following his silver in Karate 1-Premier League Shanghai. The 23-year-old karate edged 2-1 Oussama Edari of Morocco in semi-finals to reach the final bout of the tournament. 


In an outstanding demonstration of abilities, Serap Ozcelik of Turkey proved to be worthy of winning the Grand Winner again after shining in Madrid. The current Grand Winner who has secured the right to wear the special karategi with golden embroidery for the third consecutive season qualified to her fifth Karate 1-Premier League final this year. The fierce Turkish competitor defeated Nurane Aliyeva of Uzbekistan in semi-finals 2-0. Her rival in the final is Bakhriniso Babaeva from Uzbekistan who edged Tatiana Rybalchenko of Russia in semi-finals 2-2. It will be the first final for Babaeva after her title at the AKF Championships. 


Surprises took over the competition in Male Kumite -75kg as favourites failed to reach the final. The gold medal in the category will be contested by dark horses Logan Da Costa of France and Yermek Ainazarov of Kazakhstan. The French competitor made it to his first Karate 1-Premier League final since his victory in Rotterdam in 2017 after edging Luigi Busa of Italy in semi-finals 1-0. The other spot in the final went to Yermek Ainazarov who shocked favourites in the way to the last bout and upset local hopeful Rodrigo Ibanez by 1-0. It will be the second consecutive final for Ainazarov who claimed silver in the Karate 1-Premier League Moscow. 

The bout between Amir Mehdizadeh of Iran and Ozer Omer Abdurrahim of Turkey for the gold in Male Kumite -67kg, and the title-deciding bout between Yasmin Attia of Egypt and Tuba Yakan of Turkey in Female Kumite -55kg completed the list of finals of day 1 of #Karate1Madrid. Action will continue on Saturday with the rest of the categories at stake. 

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