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Top takeaways from Karate 1-Premier League in Paris


A record-breaking number of karatekas clashed in a spectacular quest to glory in Paris, in the first Karate 1-Premier League tournament of the season. Karate fans around the world enjoyed the surprising and thrilling event that served to crown Japanese karatekas and upcoming athletes as big winners of the competition. These are the top takeaways of the 2017 Karate 1-Premier League in Paris. 

Leading Karatekas conquer Paris 

Memorable triumphs were registered in the inaugural tournament of the 2017 Karate 1-Premier League. Ryo Kiyuna of Japan confirmed his status of big hero of the sport after extending his impressive winning streak. The World champion has not lost a bout in over three years and has signed golden performances in the last seven appearances in international competitions. 

Also presenting an exceptional run of victories, Karate Star Ryutaro Araga continued in the victorious path his victory with a gold medal in Paris. The 26 year-old Gojo-Ryu karateka has reached the top of the podium in all the tournaments he has participated in since 2015. 

Iran’s Sajad Ganjzadeh was other of the World champions that demonstrated their superiority in Paris. The 25 year-old Shito-Ryu athlete signed in Paris his fourth gold medal in Karate 1-Premier League events. 

The honour of the organising country was defended by Alizee Agier who cruised to gold in the Female Kumite -68kg category. The 2014 World Champion won the only gold medal for France thus getting her biggest success in international competitions since her victory in 2015 Karate 1-Premier League in Salzburg. 

Japanese domination

With a tally of 13 medals and five golds, Japanese delegation prevailed at Karate 1-Premier League in Paris. The athletes from the birth nation of the sport presented an outstanding level of performance during the three days of competition in the French city, so much so that out of the 42 Japanese karatekas competing at Pierre de Coubertin sports hall, 17 of them finished among the top five of all the categories. 

Japanese success in Paris was especially remarkable in Kata categories. Headed by World Champion Ryo Kiyuna, the athletes of the Asian country flourished in the discipline of choreographed movements, as the two gold medals and three out of the six places in the final podium were occupied by Japanese Kata athletes. 

Power of Youth

The Karate 1-Premier League in Paris also confirmed the sensational progress of upcoming karatekas, who surprised by eliminating top favourites to claim the laurels of the event. 

That was the case of 24 year-old Hikaru Ono, who dominated the Female Kata competition and won gold in her second appearance in Karate 1-Premier League events. The Goju karateka had only participated in three international events before her success in Paris. 

The power of the young and rising Japanese delegation was also confirmed with the victory of 22 year-old Natsumi Kawamura in Female Kumite +68kg, as the 2016 World Junior, Cadet and U21 champion won her third gold in Karate 1-Premier League following her victories in 2016 in Hamburg and in 2015 in Okinawa. 

Iran’s Travat Khaksar also shocked with her victory in Female Kumite -55kg in her first final in six Karate 1-Premier League participations. Meanwhile, Uzbekistan Sadriddin Saymatov, at only 19 years won his first gold in Karate 1-Premier League after his victory in 2016 AKF Cadet, Junior & U-21 Championships. 

More to come in Rotterdam 

The spectacular display in Paris was only the advance of what is yet to come in the anticipated season of Karate 1-Premier League events. After the inaugural tournament in Paris, the first class series of international Karate competitions will travel to Rotterdam (The Netherlands) where the second tournament of the year will take place. 

A record-breaking participation is also expected in the Top Sports Centre of the Dutch city from March 17 to 19. 

All the action of Karate 1-Premier League is available to fans LIVE and ON DEMAND in HD on WKF TV Channel.  Click here for more information.   

Watch the highlights of the Karate 1-Premier League in Paris on WKF YouTube Channel HERE

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