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Andres Madera: GRAND WINNER award as stepping stone for Tokyo 2020

2017-09-14

The 2017 GRAND WINNER of the Male Kumite -67kg category is ANDRES MADERA. The Venezuelan karateka stated his case to become one of the bright new names of international Karate after a successful year of confirmation among the elite of the sport.

“I am very happy and very proud of being the first Venezuelan karateka to win this award in Kumite. (Fellow Venezuelan) Antonio Diaz dominated in Kata but it is the first time that someone from my country wins it in Kumite,” said the new Venezuela hero.

It took Andres Madera over six years of hard work to reach the most prestigious individual recognition of international Karate. The Grand Winner award is the culmination of a consistent career and the most celebrated moment for an athlete who did not win his first gold medal in international competition until his fourth season at the highest level.

The first success for the 29-year-old happened in 2015 at the Pan American Championships when the Venezuelan fan favourite reached the top of the podium after an impressive performance (26 points in five bouts). Previously, Madera had presented praiseworthy displays of combative Karate at the Karate 1-Premier League events in Paris 2014, Frankfurt/Hanau 2013 and Hanau 2012, all of them with silver medals.

“At the beginning I suffered many defeats but I always kept going with the supports of my masters, my family and my friends. Today I can see the results of my constancy and perseverance,” as the Venzuelan champion puts it.

SUCCEEDING AT KARATE’S BIGGEST STAGE

His irruption at Karate’s biggest stage occurred during the past World Championships in Linz (Austria). The 1st dan Shotokan karateka made it to the final day of competition and claimed bronze after beating 2016 Grand Winner Vinicius Figueira of Brazil. The medal at the World Championships was “a dream come true”, as Madera defined it after the event. 

The confirmation of his efforts came in 2017. Madera won two medals in four appearances in Karate 1-Premier League thus claiming the Grand Winner award and keeping the World Ranking leadership. The karateka who started in the sport at age six to redirect his troubling childhood triumphed at the Karate 1-Premier League in Paris and took silver at the Karate 1-Premier League in Rotterdam.

“It is a great moment for me to receive the Grand Winner award. It is the perfect way to finish the season. I will set my eyes in the next events as I will try to finish the year as World Ranking leader. That’s my main goal now,” stated  Madera who, as many athletes, is fighting for a clear dream.

“This Grand Winner award is the beginning of a long way for me that I hope it will take me to Tokyo 2020. I hope that this award will be the first stepping stone that I need to be in the Olympic Games,” added the Venezuelan hero.

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