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Turkey top medal table at 2017 Karate European Championships


Turkey ended as the most successful team at the 2017 Karate European Championships at Kocaeli (Turkey) as representatives of the host nation struck four golds to a final tally of 14 medals. After four thrilling days of competition, the tournament concluded with the team categories thus confirming the domination of European Karate powerhouses. 

The Sehit Recep Topaloglu Arena in Izmit burst in joy when the local Kumite Team was proclaimed European champion. Led by Enes Erkan in one of his last international appearances, the Turkish side defeated France 3-1 in a fierce and convincing performance. The team formed by Enes Erkan, Ugur Aktas, Gokhan Gunduz, Ridvan Kaptan, Serkan Yagcli, Alparslan Yamanoglu and Muhammet Ali Yilmaz took the first bout of the final but France won the second fight so to tie the clash. Until that moment on, the final turned into a Turkish celebration since the following two bouts were clearly dominated by Turkey. As the last fight ended with a solid 9-1 victory for Turkey, fans of the host nation celebrated that the Turkish delegation finished the tournament with a gold medal and as the most awarded delegation in the competition. 

“In front of our public and at home we beat a great team such as France. We are really happy for this gold medal and I hope it will help us to continue getting more and more success. We have the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 in our heads and we will try to keep on improving to do our best and to represent our country there,” said Ugur Aktas


Spain demonstrated their outstanding level in Kata categories. The Male Kata team of the Iberian country formed by Jose Manuel Carbonell, Sergio Galan and Francisco Jose Salazar continued the success of Spanish representatives in the Kata competition at Kocaeli and claimed the third gold medal in the tournament, all of them in the category of choreographed movements. After the victories of Sandra Sanchez and Damian Quintero in Individual competition, the Spanish team defeated Italy in the final. The Spaniards performed a powerful “Annan” kata so to improve the second position achieved last year in Montpellier thus confirming Spain as Kata leading country in European Karate. 

“We have been working very hard on this new project and the result couldn’t be better,” said Jose Manuel Carbonell while team-mate Francisco Jose Salazar thanked family and friends for the support they have received. “This medal is for all of you!” he added. “We are very happy and I want to dedicate this to my mom,” commented Sergio Galan to commemorate Mother’s Day being celebrated today in Spain. 


In Female Team Kata, the Italian side formed by Viviana Bottaro, Sara Battaglia and Michela Pezzetti earned their fourth gold medal this season following the victories in the Karate 1-Premier League events of Paris, Rotterdam and Dubai so to state their impressive level and to confirm their prevalence in the category. The Italian ladies claimed the European crown after shining with their "Paiku" kata so to defeat France in the final. It was the second medal for Viviana Bottaro in this tournament since the 29 year-old karateka had already claimed silver in the individual competition. 

“We are exultant for this victory. We have been working for four years to win the European Championships, and after so much effort together and so many days of suffering, we have managed to get what we worked so hard for,” said team captain Sara Battaglia

The thrilling 2017 Karate European Championships finished in a Turkish celebration and with fans singing the national anthem a cappella. The delegations of Italy and Spain followed Turkey in the medal table with eight and five medals respectively, thus wrapping up an event that has crowned the new kings and queens of European Karate. 

Click here for more information on the EKF European Championships. 

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