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World Ranking update: Whos in the lead heading into the end of the season

2017-08-18

The season of international Karate is heading into the last events of the year and the best karatekas are ready to fight for the last opportunities they get to finish the year as world ranking leaders. After months of memorable and thrilling Karate competition, these are the heroes of the sport that are dominating each one of the categories of international Karate.  

MALE KATA: DAMIAN QUINTERO (ESP)

Fresh off his silver medal at The World Games and after his title at home in the Karate 1-Series A Toledo, Spain’s Damian Quintero continues leading the Male Kata category. The Spanish Karate Star has earned five medals in six competitions this year and keeps a difference of 2300 points over second-placed Ryo Kiyuna of Japan.

World champion Kiyuna, who also prevailed at The World Games has claimed gold in all three appearances this year, his last gold medal in tournaments considered for the World Ranking being the Asian Championships in Astana.

Venezuela’s Antonio Diaz who claimed the bronze medal at The World Games and Turkey’s Ali Sofuoglu who won silver at the European Championships also take the top spots in the ranking. 

MALE KUMITE -60KG: AMIR MEHDIZADEH (IRI)

Presenting an impressive track in international competitions, Iran’s Amir Mehdizadeh heads the ranking of Male Kumite -60kg. The defending world champion added the gold medal at the Asian Championships and the silver at The World Games to his impressive tally of awards so to climb to the top of the qualification of the category. 

The most promising karateka this season, 20 year-old Sadriddin Saymatov of Uzbekistan has reached the second position in the ranking following his silver medal at the Asian Championships and three gold medals in three Karate 1-Premier League tournaments (Dubai, Rotterdam and Paris). Two-time world champion Douglas Brose of Brazil and World Championships silver medallist Geoffrey Berens of The Netherlands are also in top positions in the ranking. 

MALE KUMITE -67KG: ANDRES MADERA (VEN)

The ranking of the Male Kumite -67kg is so disputed that barely 300 points separate the top three competitors. The first position is taken by Venezuela’s Andres Madera. The World Championships bronze medallist won silver at the Pan American Championships this year and took gold at the Karate 1-Premier League in Paris. 

At only 15 points is Hungary’s Yves Martial Tadissi. The 26-year old karateka claimed silver at the last World Championships and hopes to take over the leadership in the upcoming events. Meanwhile, Brazil Vinicius Figueira is just 346 points from the leader and promising and rising karateka Steven Dacosta holds the fourth place right after his victory at The World Games. 

MALE KUMITE -75KG: THOMAS SCOTT (USA) 

The competition to rule the Male Kumite -75kg is also thrilling. The captain of Team USA Thomas Scott maintains the first position following his three medals this season. Nonetheless, world champion Rafael Aghayev, who has been hit by injuries in recent events, takes the second position at only 25 points of the ranking leader. 

Two medallists at the European Championships, title-holder Luigi Busa of Italy and third-placed Erman Eltemur of Turkey also claim top spots in the ranking. 

MALE KUMITE -84KG: RYUTARO ARAGA (JPN)

With the silver medal at The World Games and two golds at Karate 1-Premier League events this year, Japan’s Ryutaro Araga keeps his comfortable lead in the Male Kumite -84kg ranking. The second position is for Azerbaijan’s Aykhan Mamayev who acts as current World Championships silver medallist and won the Karate 1-Premier League in Rabat this year. 

The surprising winner of The World Games Zabiollah Poorshab of Iran takes the fourth position while current European champion Ugur Aktas of Turkey keeps the third place with only twelve points of difference with the second position. 

MALE KUMITE +84KG: SAJAD GANJZADEH (IRI)

Defending world champion and one of the most successful karatekas in the category Sajad Ganjzadeh of Iran is the leader of the Male Kumite +84kg. The 25 year-old competitor has earned gold in the Karate 1-Premier League Paris and Dubai and claimed silver at The World Games so to confirm his status of ruling force of the category. 

European Championships runner-up Enes Erkan of Turkey keeps the second place while promising Achraf Ouchen of Morocco takes the fourth place thus showing the remarkable momentum of younger generations in high-level Karate.  

FEMALE KATA: SANDRA SANCHEZ (ESP) 

Silver medallist at The World Games Sandra Sanchez of Spain is the world ranking leader in Female Kata. The current European title-holder has reached the podium in all six international events this year, including golds at the continental championships, the Karate 1-Premier League Dubai and the Karate 1-Series A in Toledo.

The 35-year-old athlete maintains a clear lead over second placed Viviana Bottaro of Italy. The Italian karateka is fast becoming the most awarded competitor this season since the 29-year-old has won gold in all Karate 1-Premier League events this year either in team or individual competition and also claimed silver at the European Championships. 

The third position in the ranking is for Japan’s Kiyou Shimizu. The two-time world champion won gold at The World Games after a sensational performance in Wroclaw and keeps her record-breaking winning streak of victories in international competition in nearly six years. 

FEMALE KUMITE -50KG: ALEXANDRA RECCHIA (FRA)

The Female Kumite -50kg category is headed by one of the most dazzling competitors of today’s Karate. Alexandra Recchia of France was one of the heroines of the World Championships after winning gold in both individual and team competitions. The 28 year-old karateka has showed an impressive resilience this year; after failing to succeed at home in the Karate 1-Premier League in Paris, Recchia won gold at the next event of the Karate 1-Premier League Rotterdam, and after missing the podium of the European Championships, the seven-time World Championships medallist was proclaimed the winner of The World Games. 

At only 84 points is Bettina Plank of Austria who has claimed three medals this year. Serap Ozcelik of Turkey who won bronze at The World Games and European Champion Kateryna Kryva of Ukraine follow in the ranking. 

FEMALE KUMITE -55KG: VALERIA KUMIZAKI (BRA) 

World Championships runner-up Valeria Kumizaki of Brazil has reached the top of the ranking of the Female Kumite -55kg after winning the title at the Pan American Championships. The 32 year-old karateka who also prevailed at The World Games keeps a slim margin of 350 points over second-placed Tzu-Yun Wen of Chinese Taipei. The promising 23-year-old karateka faced Kumizaki in the final of The World Games and has claimed the title at the Asian Championships this year.

Former World Champion and current European Championships runner-up Sara Cardin of Italy and defending World Champion Emilie Thouy of France also take positions of privilege in the ranking. 

FEMALE KUMITE -61KG: INGRIDA SUCHANKOVA (SVK)

The ranking of the Female Kumite -61kg showcases the extreme parity of the international Karate competition. Only 170 points separate the top four placed competitors and the first two placed karatekas just have a 100 points margin. 

The ranking is headed by Slovakia’s Ingrida Suchankova, while World Championships runner-up Lucie Ignace of France and Asian champion Xiaoyan Yin of China take the second and third positions respectively, in a category that it is bound to change in upcoming events. 

FEMALE KUMITE -68KG: ALISA BUCHINGER (AUT) 

Austria’s Alisa Buchinger has been one of the dominating forces of international Karate and leads the world ranking of Female Kumite -68kg with a difference of over 1000 points with second placed Irina Zaretska of Azerbaijan. The World and European champion won silver at The World Games and hopes to continue leading the category.

Current Grand Winner Elena Quirici of Switzerland takes the third position while European Championships runner-up Alizee Agier of France is situated in fourth place. 

FEMALE KUMITE +68KG: AYUMI UEKUSA (JPN) 

The Female Kumite +68kg category has been ruled by a leading power who has prevailed in the most important competitions over the last years. Japan’s Ayumi Uekusa is not only the world ranking leader; the 25-year-old karateka is also the current World and Asian champion and has won gold in the Karate 1-Premier League tournaments in Dubai and Rotterdam, and also in The World Games. 

The Japanese top competitor takes a clear lead of nearly 2300 points over Dominika Tatarova of Slovakia, who won bronze at the World Championships and triumphed at the Karate 1-Premier League in Rabat. European Champion Anne Laure Florentin of France is in the third position. 

All the top karatekas set their eyes now in the upcoming first-class competition after the summer break, the Karate 1-Premier League to be held in Halle/Leipzig from September 8-10. 

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