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2018 Karate World Championships: MVPs proclaimed


Meet the new MVPs of the Karate World Championships. The most valuable players of the 2018 Karate World Championships were proclaimed on Sunday as the historic event concluded in Madrid (Spain).  Ryo Kiyuna and Kiyou Shimizu of Japan, Steven Dacosta of France, Dorota Banaszczyk of Poland, Deborah Knihs of Brazil and Abdelaziz Abouelnaga of Egypt were announced as the new stars of the tournament. 

The MVPs of the 24th edition of the Karate World Championships were decided by Karate fans from all over the world who had the opportunity to vote for their favourite karatekas through the WKF Facebook page. After receiving thousands of votes, the new heroes of the tournament were selected. 

In Kata categories, the MVP awards went to the current owners of the recognition. Japan’s Ryo Kiyuna and Kiyou Shimizu had taken the award two years ago in Linz and re-claimed the title again in Madrid. Ryo Kiyuna became World champion for the third consecutive time after a flawless performance on the tatamis of WiZink Center sports hall, including a victory by unanimous decision over Spain’s Damian Quintero in the final. Kiyou Shimizu, who has two world-titles under her belt, performed at an outstanding level throughout the competition but was overpowered by local star Sandra Sanchez in the final thus finishing the event with a silver medal. 

In Kumite, two karatekas who claimed outstanding victories on Saturday received the recognition. Poland’s Dorota Banaszczyk was one of the biggest stars of the championships after producing the real fairy-tale story of the event. The 21-year-old karateka who is placed in the 28th position in WKF World Ranking, and who could not attend the awarding ceremony, beat all the odds and defeated Jana Bitsch of Germany to become new world champion. Meanwhile, Steven Dacosta was declared the MVP in Male Kumite after his impressive display in the tournament. Following a point-filled performance throughout the competition, the 21-year-old karateka got the world title in a spectacular fashion, defeating Vinicius Figuera of Brazil 6-5 in the final in a demonstration of kicking abilities. 

The MVPs of the Para-Karate categories were Deborah Knihs of Brazil and Abdelaziz Abouelnaga of Egypt. The Brazilian karateka amazed with her abilities in the Visually impaired category and finished the tournament with the silver medal. The MVP of Male Para-Karate went to Abdelaziz Abouelnaga of Egypt who produced an inspiring performance in the Wheelchair users competition and won the gold medal in the tournament. 

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