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Assia Oukhattou leads French hopes in Youth Olympic Games

2018-10-05

Excitement is growing among all the members of the Karate family as the Karate event of the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 is less than two weeks away. With the Karate world counting the days to the debut of the sport in the Youth Olympic Games, young athletes participating at the event are getting ready to make history for the ancient modality. France’s Assia Oukhattou will be one of the karatekas hoping to succeed in Buenos Aires. 

“I feel so excited! It is a mixture of stress and emotions given the importance of the competition, but I feel quite relaxed and focused on my goal,” said the 17-year-old karateka. 

Assia Oukhattou is hoping to become one of the first medallists of the sport in Karate’s inaugural appearance at the Youth Olympic Games. However, the Arlesienne athlete will have an added mission in Buenos Aires: She is the only representative of one of the biggest powerhouses of the sport. 

“It is important for me to go back home with a medal; I am the only French representative and I want to honour my country there. We are a strong nation and it is important for me to be able to represent France in the most beautiful way, by going all the way up to the podium!” said Oukhattou. 

With the popularity of Karate reaching its highest level in France, and with French karatekas getting a host of medals in most major international events, all eyes of French Karate are set on the fierce competitor who will participate in the Female Kumite -59kg category. 

“I want to be able to show that French karate is great. It would be a huge honour to put my name on the list of the winners of the first Karate competition,” said the six-time national champion. 

“I have been preparing for this moment for a long time. I know that stress will probably rise but I have a great support from all the France staff and from my coach Cécil Boulesnane,” added Oukhattou. 

DEFEATING ALL ODDS

The young athlete started practising the ancient modality when she was nine years old in her home-town of Arles, the historic city on Southern France. As it usually happens with many female karatekas, she defeated all the odds and broke all expectations. 

“I was doing classic dance. My mother wanted to sign my little brother in a martial art. I went to a class with him and I loved it! Since then, I have never wanted to take off the gloves!” said the two-time underage European Championships medallist. 

After being honoured by all the local and regional authorities at her home-town before leaving to Buenos Aires, Oukhattou is ready to become France’s new Karate star. Whatever her result at the Youth Olympic Games will be, she will have a whole country behind her. 


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