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Meet Negin Baghery Bazardeh, Irans leading female Kata karateka


In the new episode of our web series “Meet…” we introduce Negin Baghery Bazardeh, Iranian Karate hopeful, passionate about Kata, and enthusiastic about the Olympic prospects of the sport. 

The universality of Karate gets showcased every time Negin Baghery Bazardeh of Iran competes in the biggest international events of the sport. The Iranian karateka is the representation of the power that Karate has in countries all over the world, and embodies the impact of the ancient modality regardless nation of origin, gender or beliefs. 

“Karate is a sport that helps all of us no matter the country we can from or the religion we profess. Karate is so strong that it strengthens the relations among people from all over the world,” said the karateka who is placed in 23rd position in WKF World Ranking. 

Starting in Karate at the age of 11, Negin Baghery Bazardeh immediately fell in love with Karate, especially with the physicality and beauty of Kata. “I grew with Kata. Ever since I was a child, I enjoyed doing Karate. Kata is a big part of my heart. Karate is a mix of everything and many different abilities are required to practise it at the highest level… and it requires a lot of hard work. Karate helps you make the best of yourself,” said the Iranian karateka. 

Being the only top karateka competing in kata at the highest level wearing the hijab,  Negin Baghery Bazardeh appreciates the support she receives to continue shining at Karate’s biggest events. 

“I really thank the WKF and all those who make possible for us to compete and do kata with the hijab. I train for seven hours to achieve my goals, and now I have the chance to make my work known to the world,” said the karateka who has the upcoming Asian Karate Championships and the Asian Games as main challenges. “Thank God and thank our federation for giving us the opportunity to participate in the biggest events all over the world,” added Negin Baghery Bazardeh. 

The 30-year-old top kata karateka has won three medals in international competitions, after getting two silver medals in Karate 1-Premier League Istanbul in 2013 and 2016 and winning bronze in the 2017 Karate 1-Premier League Dubai. In the tournament in the Turkish city this week, Negin Baghery Bazardeh defeated Italy’s Noemi Nicosanti by unanimous decision but lost to Japan’s Natsuki Shimizu by 4-1 in the second round of the pool phase.

As Karate is getting closer and closer to make the Olympic dream of the sport become a reality, expectations are growing among athletes hoping to reach the historic qualification to the Olympic debut of the sport. 

“The Karate 1-Premier League is extremely important for us to earn points in order to become one of the four persons qualifying by ranking for the Olympic Games. I hope that I can continue competing in Karate 1-Premier League so I can finish the year among the top five competitors in female kata; hopefully, I will be able to represent my country at the Olympic Games”, said Negin Baghery Bazardeh. 

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