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#Karate1Salzburg begins with record of participants


A record-breaking number of karatekas is taking part this weekend in the massive 2019 Karate 1-Series A Salzburg. The opening event of the season of Karate 1-Series A started on Friday with over 2000 competitors from 99 countries clashing for gold. This tally represents a record in Karate’s first-class series of international events and showcases the tremendous popularity of the sport all over the world. 

The first categories of the day were among the most numerous of the tournament since 515 competitors were registered in the Kata categories only. 

Favourites took a stand among the thousands of competitors in Salzburg and qualified for the last stages of the competition. In Female Kata, the final bout will be a repetition of the title-deciding clash of the last two major international events. Japan’s Kiyou Shimizu and Spain’s Sandra Sanchez will fight for gold in one of the most anticipated duels for the domination of international Karate. World champion Sandra Sanchez qualified for the final after topping the last pool and excelling with “Pappuren” kata (score of 26.88) while two-time World champion and current World Championships runner-up Kiyou Shimizu dominated the pool and made it to the final after scoring 26.82 with “Chatanyara Kushanku” kata. 

Meanwhile, in Male Kata the final will be another clash Japan versus Spain. Damian Quintero reached his third final this year after prevailing in the competition and topping his pool with 26.74 points. The current World Championships runner-up from Spain performed an excellent “Anan Dai” kata to qualify for the final. His rival in the last bout of the tournament will be Japan's Kazumasa Moto. The Japanese karateka who won gold in Salzburg last year topped his pool after claiming 26.0 points with his performance of “Gankaku” kata. 

The places in the finals of the Team Kata competition are taken by Australia and Italy in the Female Team Kata category and by Malaysia and Turkey in the Male Team Kata category. 

In the rest of the categories at stake in the opening day of action, Japanese representatives continued making it to the final stages of the competition. The karateka from the birth nation of the sport Ayaka Saito qualified for the final of Female Kumite +68kg after defeating Croatia’s Lucija Lesjak in semifinals (2-0). The other place in the final is for Egypt’s Shymaa Aboualyazed who defeated Serbia’s Tara Ropret in semi-finals. 

Favourites took a stand in Male Kumite -60kg, as Grand Winner Eray Samdan of Turkey and upcoming karateka Darkhan Assadilov of Kazakhstan will meet in the final. The current Grand Winner of Turkey qualified for the first title-dedicing bout this season after edging Brazil’s Rafael Nascimento by “Hantei” or decision in semi-finals while the karateka from Kazakhstan aims at his second gold this year following his victory in Karate 1-Premier League Dubai. 

The category of Male Kumite +84kg was marked by surprises. The spots in the final will be taken by Iran’s Saleh Abazari who is the current Asian champion and by Azerbaijan’s Asiman Gurbanli who reached his first final in major events since his title in 2016 Karate 1-Premier League Hamburg 

CLICK HERE to go to the results of Karate 1-Series A Salzburg. 

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