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Ryo Kiyuna and Ryutaro Araga lead Japanese success at Karate 1-Premier League in Paris


Japanese karatekas prevailed at the 2017 Karate 1-Premier League in Paris, and confirmed their outstanding level of performance with a final tally of 13 medals. The victories of heroes of the Asian country such as Ryutaro Araga and Ryo Kiyuna helped Japan to establish an impressive domination in the inaugural event of the season that also served to present new and promising names in international Karate.

The preponderance of karatekas of the birth nation of the sport was especially remarkable in Individual Kata categories. The all-Japanese final of Male Kata proclaimed world champion Ryo Kiyuna as the biggest name of the category with his imposing victory over Issei Shimbaba, as all the positions of the final podium were occupied by Japanese karatekas.

The trend of Japanese victories in both Individual Kata competitions that started in Linz continued in Paris since Hikaru Ono won gold in the Female Kata competition. The young karateka beat local heroine Sandy Scordo and got the best result of her career thus establishing her status as one upcoming athlete to watch.

The gold medals in Team Kata competition went to the hands of Italian representatives, as the two squads of the European country topped both competitions. Italian ladies beat Germany in the final while “azzurri” sides ruled the Male Team Kata category with two trios of the souther European country clashing in the final.

Ryutaro Araga extends domination

Karate Star Ryutaro Araga was crowned as one of the biggest names of the spectacular event. The Japanese hero extended his winning streak in Male Kumite -84kg to win his fifth gold medal in major international competitions. In Paris, the defending World Champion beat Russia’s Ilya Granovesov.

The Japanese success was also confirmed in Female Kumite -50kg since Miho Mihara won the all-Japan final over Ayaka Tadano. Natsumi Kawamura completed the outstanding performance of athletes from the Asian country with her victory in Female Kumite +68kg over France’s Nadege Ait Ibrahim.

Iran rise as leading nation

Following a meritorious performance in the 2016 World Championships, Iranian athletes took the spotlight in Paris. Sajad Ganjzadeh continued his winning streak and after his victory in Linz three months ago, the world title-holder won gold in Male Kumite +84kg in a hard-fought bout against Tyron-Darnell Lardy of The Netherlands.

Iranian promising karateka Taravat Khaksar earned her first gold in Karate 1-Premier League and beat Amy Connell of Scotland in Female Kumite -55kg thus completing the tally of golds for the Iranian delegation.

New names to follow

The elimination of top favourites and leading names in some of the categories represented the main highlight of the event and paved the way to glory for upcoming competitors in Paris. This is the case of Jovana Prekovic of Serbia who won gold in Female Kumite -61kg after beating European championships silver medallist Merve Coban of Turkey.

In another of the title-deciding bouts with competitors debuting in the last day of competition at Karate 1-Premier League, Sadriddin Saymatov of Uzbekistan defeated Senthilkumaran Selvarajoo of Malaysia in Male Kumite -60kg

Meanwhile, Andres Madera of Venezuela confirmed his progression and following his bronze medal at the World Championships, he won gold in Male Kumite -67kg by beating Rinat Sagandykov of Kazakhstan. Stanislav Horuna also took the highest position of the final podium since the Ukrainian fan favourite defeated Ahmed El Sharaby of Italy to win the Male Kumite -75kg.

French celebration

The delegation of the host country had a moment of pure joy during the last day of the competition in Paris when local heroine Alizee Agier got all the honours of the organising country with her victory in Female Kumite -68kg. The 2014 World Champion beat Iryna Zaretska of Azerbaijan in the final, in a celebration of French Karate.

Watch all the action of the first class Karate international competition on Karate 1-Premier League Channel. 

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