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Grand Winners crowned in Paris


The new Grand Winners were honoured in Paris today as they received the awards that distinguish them as the “Best of the Best” of last season. The special ceremony was held at Pierre de Coubertin sports hall during the last day of competition of the 2019 Karate 1-Premier League Paris. 

The Grand Winners award identifies the top competitors of the season in Karate 1-Premier League. The prestigious recognition put the highlight on those karatekas who produced remarkable performances in Karate 1-Premier League events last year. It also gives them the right to wear the special karate-gi with the golden embroidery, a distinction which is very much coveted by all Karate athletes around the world. 

“I am very happy for this award. It is really an accomplishment, and I am honoured to receive this recognition. It is even more special for me since the ceremony was held here in France, so I could get the award in front of my public,” said new Grand Winner and French fan favourite Alizee Agier. 

The newly-crowned line-up of Grand Winners is formed by Turkey’s Serap Ozcelik, Ugur Aktas, Burak Uygur and Eray Samdan, France’s Gwendoline Philippe and Alizee Agier, Japan’s Ryo Kiyuna and Ayumi Uekusa, Spain’s Sandra Sanchez, Italy’s Sara Cardin and Germany’s Jonathan Horne. All of them received the trophy and diploma that recognises them as new Grand Winners. The awards were handed out by the Ambassador of Japan in France Masato Kitera. WKF President Antonio Espinós and WKF General Secretary Toshihisa Nagura were also in attendance at the ceremony. 

“It is a great feeling. It proves that my hard work and all the pain in trainings paid off. I am honoured to have received this award,” said Jonathan Horne of Germany. 

“I am really pleased to be Grand Winner for the second time,” said Turkey’s Serap Ozcelik who together with Sandra Sanchez of Spain and Ayumi Uekusa of Japan kept the crown for the second consecutive year. “I very much like to wear the golden karate-gi! I just want to be Grand Winner again this year,” added the Turkish Karate Star. 

“Being Grand Winner has always been my target; I could not be any happier. I did it last year, but now I want to focus on the new season. I know that I have to work hard to be Grand Winner again. I will do all that I can for it,” said Turkey’s Ugur Aktas. 

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