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Front-runners earn gold as thrilling Karate 1-Premier League in Rabat concludes


Rafael Aghayev and athletes representing the host country ended as the most successful karatekas at the Karate 1-Premier League in Rabat as the leading names of the sport all struck gold on the final day of competition. The fourth stop of the first-class series of international Karate events ended with a demonstration of power by some of the top competitors in contention. 

It was his first appearance after winning his fifth world crown in Linz last October, but Rafael Aghayev did not falter and confirmed why the Karate Star currently is one of the biggest heroes of the sport. The Azerbaijani karateka defeated 2016 Grand Winner Majed Alkhalifah of Saudi Arabia by 3-0 in the final of Male Kumite -75kg thus showcasing an impressive domination of the sport. 

Morocco lead in Kata 

Aghayev’s performance was one of the highlights of the last day of competition that also saw local Karatekas making their way to the top of the podium. Morocco finished the event with a tally of 13 medals and four golds. Representatives of the host country especially dominated in Kata, as Moroccan athletes prevailed in three of the four categories at stake. In fact, all four spots on the final podium at Individual Male Kata were taken by local karatekas, with Mohammed Elhanni earning gold. Morocco also reached the top of the podium in Male Team Kata and Female Team Kata, while Najlae Karchali dominated in Female Kumite -61kg. 

The list of winners in the categories of choreographed movements is completed with Italy’s Viviana Bottaro who beat Spain’s Raquel Roy in the final of Female Kata. The Italian ace extended her outstanding performance this season, in which the World Championships bronze medallist has won gold in all Karate 1-Premier League events. 

Egyptian celebration in Rabat 

Egypt also took the spotlight at the event since representatives of the African nation took home ten medals and five golds. The all-Egyptian final of Female Kumite -55kg finished on Aya Shaaban’s hands as the young karateka defeated teammate Yassmin Attia so to earn her second gold at Karate 1-Premier League in two appearances. Meanwhile, Radwa Sayed shocked favourite Serap Ozcelik of Turkey and also took the Egyptian flag to the top of Female Kumite -50kg category. 

The performance of Egyptian karatekas was especially remarkable in Male categories since the podiums of three out of the seven competitions were topped by athletes from the African nation. Malek Salama defeated Saudi Arabia’s Abdullah Alharbi in Male Kumite -60kg, Ali Elsawy dominated the Male Kumite -67kg category and Ahmed Elasfar completed the triple gold for Egypt after surprising favourite Enes Erkan of Turkey in Male Kumite +84kg. 

Front-runners topped the rest of the categories at stake. Italy’s Silvia Semeraro defeated Slovakia’s Miroslava Kopunova in Female Kumite -68kg, while Slovakia’s Dominika Tatarova won her first gold this season after beating France’s Sofia Kloucha in Female Kumite +68kg. In Male Kumite -84kg World Championships runner-up Aykhan Mamayev overcame Turkey’s Gokhan Gunduz to win his first gold this season.

Action at the first-class series of international Karate competitions will resume in September, when Halle/Leipzing (Germany) will host the last stop of Karate 1-Premier League. The opening event of the newly created Karate 1-Series A will take place in June in Toledo (Spain). 

Click here for more information on the 2017 Karate 1-Premier League in Rabat. 

About Karate World TV Channel 

The Karate World TV Channel gives fans around the world a front row seat to view all the Karate 1- Premier League events. By signing to the Karate World TV Channel, Karate fans will receive all the excitement of the 2017 Karate 1-Premier League in HD, including all five tournaments LIVE, On-demand event replays, Video On Demand and Exclusive Content. 

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