Best quotes from Day 3 medallists
These are the best quotes of the medallists from day 3
“Karate has always been practiced in Egypt and we have many female World Champions. As an Arab woman, there are certain challenges in doing martial arts, but I never questioned my perseverance. It is such a privilege to win, and it hasn’t come overnight. It is a wonderful achievement. We have shown how beautiful our sport is and the strength during these Games and we deserve to be here. I hope people will change their minds and include Karate again in [the Olympic Games] in the future. I would like to thank every person that has made it possible for us to be here and especially my mother for her support and faith in me and helping me to achieve my dream.” - Feryal Abdelaziz (EGY), Women’s Kumite +61kg Champion
“It means a lot to be a part of this huge competition and we have done a lot to be here. I dreamed of being part of the Games since I was a child and I’m so proud to be here. There are many children dreaming of the same chance in the future. I want to support young girls to train for Karate who may be too shy or think they are not as strong as boys. There are now two Karate legends in Azerbaijan, and we are so proud of our country. Thanks to my family and friends for all the support and for putting up with us through all the preparation (as athletes can be a little crazy). I am waiting to hug them all.” - Iryna Zaretska (AZE), Women’s Kumite +61kg silver medallist.
“I hope we will have more chances for Karate to be in the Games in the future. There are so many athletes practicing this sport who deserve the opportunity. I am very grateful to have had this opportunity even if I have some regrets for my own performance. I want to share this moment with my sparing partners who do a lot and get nothing in return. I am grateful to my country and all the people who have supported me.” - Li Gong (CHN), Women’s Kumite +61kg bronze medallist
“It was really a dream for Karate to be an Olympic sport and maybe we will have another chance in the future. We have shown people all around the world how beautiful this sport is. I am a little sad with my performance after all the work, as I always want to do my best and win. I have many supporters in Kazakhstan and across the world and I want to thank you all and of course, my family and friends who are always by my side.” - Sofya Berultseva (KAZ), Women’s Kumite +61kg bronze medallist
“I don’t remember too much of the fight other than being behind and then waking up in the medical room where my coach told me that I had won. I am happy I won but sad that it was like it was. It wasn’t the best fight, we always want to win on points, but overall, I have had a good day here and good matches. I thank God for the chance, we are a lucky generation of karatekas and hope that the sport will stay on the programme for the Games as it really is a dream for us. The next step is the World Championships in Dubai.” - Sajad Ganjzadeh (IRI), Men’s Kumite +75kg Champion
“It has been exhausting to get here with lots of competitions to qualify, but we have done what we can during this competition. I think I fought well (in the final) but it is the judges that make the decision in the end. Of course, I disagree with the decision, but I accept it and I am satisfied with my performance level throughout the competition. It is the World Championships next, and I hope to win at least one gold.” - Tareg Hamedi (KSA), Men’s Kumite +75kg silver medallist.
“With Karate being in the Games for the first time, there was a lot of pressure on us. We saw that Kata athletes won medals and we hadn’t won any yet and knew we had to. I am very happy to have won a medal, even if it is bronze. My goal at these Games was to win a medal, now it is time to rest and think about the next steps. It has been a privilege to compete alongside great Karatekas and we hope that people watching at home enjoyed what they saw and will want to see Karate in the Games again in the future.” - Ryutaro Araga (JPN), Men’s Kumite +75kg bronze medallist
“There was a lot of pressure on us to get to the Games and it has been a long journey. I tried to beat away the pressure and to give my best performance here.” - Ugur Aktas (TUR), Men’s Kumite +75kg bronze medallist.