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Local karatekas succeed in second day of Karate 1-Series A Shanghai


The Karate 1-Series A Shanghai completed the second day of action as representatives of the host country earned their qualification to the finals of the memorable event. As it happened in the first day of competition, the medallists of the last World Championships and the big names of the sport also took the spotlight in the second day of the last Karate 1-Series A tournament of the season. 

Local karatekas Li Gong and Mengmeng Gao secured two medals for the host country with their qualification to the finals of Female Kumite -68kg and Female Kumite +68kg respectively. Li Gong earned her place in the title-deciding bout after achieving an impressive 7-0 victory in semi-finals over Kayo Someya of Japan. The promising Chinese karateka will fight for gold against Egypt’s Feryal Abdelaziz who qualified for the second final in Karate 1-Series A this year following a 3-0 triumph over Switzerland’s Elena Quirici. 

Meanwhile, Mengmeng Gao made it to her third final in major international competitions after prevailing in Female Kumite +68kg. The 2015 Asian Championships runner-up defeated Japan’s Yuzuki Sawae 2-0 in semi-finals and will clash for gold against World Champion Eleni Chatziliadou of Greece. The Greek star extended her outstanding demonstration at the World Championships in Madrid with another showdown in Shanghai. The current title-holder beat María Torres of Spain in a roller-coaster of semi-final 6-4. 

Nonethless Chinese fans could not celebrate the qualification for the final of China’s biggest star Xiaoyan Yin. The 2018 Grand Winner will try to get the bronze medal in Female Kumite -61kg since the Chinese fan favourite lost in semi-finals against Spain’s Cristina Ferrer. It will be Cristina Ferrer’s first big final in over two years as the winner of 2018 Karate 1-Premier League Paris will meet Canada’s Haya Jumaa in the final. The promising karateka from Canada edged two-time World champion Giana Lotfy in semi-finals 1-0 to reach the final. 


The rest of the Male Kumite categories had some of the biggest names of the sport as the stars of the day. After his sensational performance at the World Championships in Madrid, current World title-holder Jonathan Horne of Germany continued on top form and qualified for the final of Male Kumite +84kg. The experienced German karateka upset Iran’s Kousha Teimouri Sahneh in semi-finals (2-1) and made it to his fifth final this year. His rival for gold will be Tyron Lardy of The Netherlands who qualified for his third final in Karate 1-Series A this year after defeating Brian Irr of the USA by 7-4. 

Meanwhile, in Male Kumite -84kg, Iran’s Zabiollah Poorshab reached the final in Shanghai following his gold in Male Team Kumite in Madrid. The Iranian karateka will have Kazakhstan’s Igor Chikhmarev as rival in the final. 

In Male Kumite -75kg, 2018 Grand Winner Stanislav Horuna of Ukraine outshined rivals and will try to get his third gold of the season. The Ukrainian karateka beat Turkey’s Erman Eltemur in semi-finals 2-0 and will meet Enes Garibovic of Croatia in the final. It will be Garibovic’s first final in senior competitions. 

Newly-proclaimed Grand Winner Eray Samdan of Turkey wrapped up his impressive season with another medal. The up-and-coming karateka edged Estonia’s Daniel Rodionov in semi-finals and hopes to get his fourth gold medal this year against Iran’s Miad Yari Ilzouleh. In his first final in senior tournaments, the Iranian karateka reached the last bout following a slim victory by ‘Hantei’ or decision over Uzbekistan’s Sadriddin Saymatov.   

The competition concludes on Sunday with the bronze medal bouts and the finals. 

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