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Preview Linz 2016: Clash of Titans in Male Kata


The crown of Male Kata competition will be decided in Linz in a spectacular showdown of some of the best athletes of the category in years. The defending title-holder, a legend of Kata Karate, the current world ranking leader, underage world medallists, and promising stars of the sport, all reach the 2016 World Championships at their top level, thus ensuring an outstanding and unpredictable competition in the sensational category of choreographed patterns of movements.

As defending champion, Japan’s Ryo Kiruna acts as one of the top favourites to take the first position of the podium in Linz. The 26 year-old Kata sensation has established such a dominance in the scarce events that he has competed in, that the current world title holder has claimed gold in all five major international competitions that he has participated since 2013. This year the fourth placed Karateka in the world ranking has won gold in both the first and last Karate 1-Premier League events of the season, in Paris and Okinawa, and will arrive in Linz with the intention of repeating his impressive performance in Bremen two years ago. In the 2014 World Championships, the successor of the long-lasting tradition of great Japanese Kata Karatekas beat Ilja Smorguner of Germany in a spectacular final.

With two gold medals in World Championships under his belt, and considered by many one of the best Kata Karatekas of all times, Antonio Diaz of Venezuela is another of the titans to clash for glory in the category in Linz. At 36 years of age, the current Pan American champion reaches the event fuelled by his experience and flawless technique in his quest to recapture the world crown earned last in 2012. After his bronze in Bremen two years ago, the seven-time World Championships medallist hopes to increase his sensational tally of awards so to take a step further in his intention of becoming one of the most awarded Karatekas.

Completing the trio of top favourites in the category, Damian Quintero of Spain aims at using his condition of world ranking leader to win his first medal in World Championships. The current European Champion has presented sensational performances in Karate 1-Premier League this season after claiming five medals and three golds in six appearances. In his quest to take the helm of the category in the next years, the 32 year-old Karate Star hopes to reach the final stages of the competition thus to extend the excellence of Karatekas of the Iberian country in World Championships.

The list of candidates to shine in the disputed Male Kata competition in Linz does not end with the three main figures of the category. Current silver medallist Ilja Smorguner of Germany, and promising 2015 Junior, Cadet and U21 World Championships gold medallist Zaresta Ahmad Zigi of Indonesia and 2015 Junior, Cadet and U21 World Championships bronze medallist Nykolai Josef Arango Soto of Dominican Republic, among many others will try to take their chances in one of the big highlights of the 2016 Karate World Championships in Linz. 

Go to the World Championships section to find more information on Linz 2016.

All the best photos and videos from on the tatamis and behind the scenes of the World Championships will be posted on the WKF’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram pages.

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