Ariel Torres and Sakura Kokumai lead way to gold on Day 1 of Karate at Pan American Games
The Karate competition of the Pan American Games started Friday with a thrilling first day of action at the Centro de Deportes de Contacto in Santiago (Chile). Ariel Torres and Sakura Kokumai of the United States, Guadalupe Quintal of Mexico and Chile’s Enrique Villalon were the first gold medallists of Karate.
Ariel Torres of the United States took the star status on day 1 of Karate at the Pan American Games as he claimed the title of Male Kata. The Olympic Games bronze medallist and third placed at the World Championships in Budapest added his second Pan American Games crown to his many accomplishments following a convincing victory over Cleiver Leocadio of Venezuela in the final (scores of 42.60 to 40.10)
The bronze medals in Male Kata were taken by Luca Impagnatiello of Argentina and Larry Aracena of the Dominican Republic.
SAKURA KOKUMAI EXTENDS USA’S SUCCESS ON DAY 1
Sakura Kokumai of the United States confirmed the predictions and used her favourite status to keep her crown in Female Kata. The winner of the 2019 Pan American Games and fifth qualified in the World Championships of last week defeated Valentina Zapata of Colombia in the final with scores of 41.10 to 39.40.
The bronze medals in Female Kata went to Claudia Laos Loo of Canada and Andrea Armada of Venezuela.
GOLD FOR GUADALUPE QUINTAL IN FEMALE KUMITE +68KG
The title in Female Kumite +68kg was claimed by Guadalupe Quintal of Mexico. The 2015 continental champion won her first title since her victory at the 2022 Karate 1-Series A Kocaeli after defeating Valeria Lorena Echever of Ecuador 2-1.
The bronze medallists in the category are Pamela Rodriguez of the Dominican Republic and Brenda Padilha of Brazil.
FIRST TITLE FOR CHILE
Hosts of Chile celebrated their first title in Karate thanks to Enrique Villalon's brilliant performance in Male Kumite -60kg. The local karateka surprised favourites and added the gold at the Pan American Games to his current continental title in a hard-fought final. The Chilean athlete beat Brayan Diaz of Cuba 6-5.
The bronze medals in the division were claimed by Douglas Brose of Brazil and Juan Fernandez of Colombia.
The Karate competition at the Pan American Games continues Saturday with day 2 of action from Santiago.