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Rafael Aghayev takes spotlight in second day of action at Karate 1-Premier League Rabat

2017-04-15

Five-time World champion Rafael Aghayev and Egyptian karatekas emerged victorious on the second day of competition at the Karate 1-Premier League in Rabat (Morocco). As the tournament heads to the title-deciding clashes on Sunday, favourites are looking to take gold in the thrilling fourth stop of Karate’s first-class international events. 

As he made his first appearance in international season, defending world champion Rafael Aghayev confirmed his status of one of Karate’s biggest stars by claiming his sixth medal in Karate 1-Premier League events, a tally to add to his unprecedented five world crowns and ten continental titles. Much to Karate fans’ delight, the clash for gold in the Male Kumite -75kg category will feature the Azerbaijani superstar in one of the highlights of the last day of competition. 

The always challenging task of getting in the way of Karate’s fan favourite Aghayev will fall on Majed Alkhalifah’s shoulder. The karateka from Saudi Arabia will try to defend his condition of 2016 Grand Winner so to produce the big upset of the tournament in order to earn his first title in major international tournaments. 

Egyptian Karatekas continue shining 

Extending a remarkable first day of competition, the Egyptian delegation kept on making an impact in Rabat. As a continuation to the three spots in the finals earned on Friday, Egypt managed to place two of their competitors - Yassmin Attia and Aya Shaaban- in the final of the the Female Kumite -55kg, thus making the bout an all-Egyptian clash. Twenty-three year-old Yassmin Attia has not won a Karate 1-Premier League title since her victory in Paris in 2015, while 20 year-old Aya Shaaban claimed gold in Karate 1-Premier League in Sharm El-Sheik last year in her first appearance in the top series of Karate competitions. 

The third Egyptian karateka making it to the final today was Ahmed Elasfar who shocked and clinched the ticket to the bout for gold in the Male Kumite +84kg category. His rival will be Karate Star Enes Erkan of Turkey who reached his first final in over a year after defeating top favourites, among others, local hero Achraf Ouchen. 

As Achraf Ouchen will fight for bronze on Sunday, Moroccan Karate enthusiasts will have more reasons to celebrate since local karateka Najlae Karachali qualified for the final of Female Kumite -61kg. The newcomer aims at her first medal in international competitions and she will face China’s Xiaoyan Yini. 

Favourites making their mark 

Front-runners also succeeded in thriving in Rabat. World Championships runner-up Aykhan Mamayev of Azerbaijan hopes to earn his first gold this year and will clash in the final of Male Kumite -84kg category with Turkey’s Gokhan Gunduz, who won his last gold medal in Karate 1-Premier League four years ago in Istanbul. 

In Female Kumite -687kg Italy’s Silvia Semeraro set the course to continue her winning path in Rabat as the 2015 EKF Junior, Cadet and U21 champion qualified to fight for her second gold in two years at the event. Slovakia’s Miroslava Kopunova will be on the other side of the tatami aiming at her first gold in international competitions. 

World Championships bronze medallist Dominika Tatarova of Slovakia and young newcomer Sofia Kloucha of France will clash for gold in the final of Female Kumite +68kg and complete the list of athletes succeeding in the thrilling event in Rabat. 

Finals and bronze medal bouts will be held on Sunday. The last day of the event will be streamed live on Karateworld.tv.

Click here for more information on the 2017 Karate 1-Premier League in Rabat. 

About Karate World TV Channel 

The Karate World TV Channel gives fans around the world a front row seat to view all the Karate 1- Premier League events. By signing to the Karate World TV Channel, Karate fans will receive all the excitement of the 2017 Karate 1-Premier League in HD, including all five tournaments LIVE, On-demand event replays, Video On Demand and Exclusive Content. 

Sign up for the Karate World TV Channel HERE

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