Favourites Dominate Kata Categories at EKF Cadet, Junior & U21 Championships
The 2024 European Karate Federation (EKF) Cadet, Junior & U21 Championships burst into action today in Tbilisi, Georgia, with a dazzling display of skill and precision in the Kata categories. Favourites Paola Garcia Lozano of Spain, Mai-Linh Bui of France and Guido Polsinelli of Italy were among the heroes of the opening day in Kata divisions.
In the Cadet Kata Female final, Tamara Lehner of Austria will square off against Rita Marques of Portugal in a clash to be tightly contested. Lehner beat Judith Angera Nieto of Spain in the semifinals (40.60 to 39.60) while Marques upset frontrunner Giulia Manca of Belgium (40.40 to 39.10)
The Cadet Kata Male final will see Tarik Koc of Turkiye go head-to-head with Thomas Klemz of France. Koc had defeated Matteo Freda of Italy in the semis (41.80 to 40.70) as Klemz opened the successful day for the French delegation with a victory by 39.70 to 39.10 over Portugal’s Martim Oliveira.
Moving on to the Junior categories, Mai Linh Bui of France and Paola Garcia Lozano of Spain will engage in a captivating showdown of favourites in Junior Kata Female. Bui, who is the current bronze medallist, beat Shirley Jay of Germany 40.00 to 38.50 while Garcia Lozano, who is the defending titleholder and Senior continental champion will try to continue using the favourite status in her favour following a convincing 41.90 to 39.40 triumph in the semifinals over Miriam Ederar of Italy.
In the Junior Kata Male final, Muhammed Efe Yurtseven of Turkiye will face off against Jonas Abu Wahib of Germany in a clash of titans. Yurtseven and Wahib qualified for the final after winning their semifinals over Joao Vieira of Portugal (41.70 to 41.60) and Luigi Di Rubba of Italy (41.00 to 39.70) respectively.
In the U21 division, Michaela Cukanova of Slovakia and Chiara Manca of Belgium will clash for supremacy in the Kata Female final. Cukanova had previously defeated Jessica Vlai of Germany (40.00 to 39.90) as Manca confirmed her favourite status with a 39.80 to 39.10 triumph over Damla Su Turemen of Turkiye.
Meanwhile, in the U21 Kata Male final, Aidan Randall Lueck of Germany will square off Guido Polsinelli of Italy in a thrilling encounter. Lueck reached the final following a 39.90 to 39.50 victory over Matija Relic of Croatia while Polsinelli hopes to improve the bronze medal he won last year with a 42.70 to 41.00 triumph over France’s Lucas Hoffmann.
In the team events, France and Spain will showcase their prowess in the Kata Team Cadet and Junior Female category, while Italy and Spain will battle it out in the Kata Team Cadet and Junior Male division.
The first day of the championships will conclude with the Cadet Kumite categories. Then, the stage will be set for more exhilarating action in the days to come.