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Grand Winners rule day 1 of Karate 1-Premier League Berlin

2018-09-14

Grand Winners Sandra Sanchez, Serap Ozcelik and Anzhelika Terliuga prevailed in the first day of Karate action at the 2018 Karate 1-Premier League Berlin. The opening day of the sixth Karate 1-Premier League of the season had the dominating performances of the karatekas with the golden embroidery in the karate-gi, and the successful presentation of young and promising athletes as highlights.  

The Female Kata competition in Berlin was an electric showdown of the biggest names of the category of choreographed movements. The two top-ranked athletes in WKF World Ranking will meet in the final in a bout for the domination of the category. Both Kiyou Shimizu of Japan and Sandra Sanchez of Spain registered an almost perfect quest to the final. Kiyou Shimizu won all her bouts by unanimous decision 5-0, including the victory over fellow team-mate Emiri Iwamoto in semi-finals. It will be the seventh final in eight appearances for the Japanese two-time World champion this year. 

Meanwhile, Sandra Sanchez of Spain continues demonstrating her status as one of the best Kata competitors of all times. The current Grand Winner presented an excellent performance on the tatamis in Berlin, winning all her bouts by unanimous decision including the 5-0 victory over Italy’s Viviana Bottaro in semi-finals. 

“I am very happy for what this qualification to the final represents. It is my first final, now that the Olympic qualification process has started, and on top of that, the final will be on my birthday!” said an exultant Sanchez. 

With the qualification to her fourth final this year, the World Ranking leader from Spain extends her record-breaking streak of 29 consecutive medals in over three years of international competitions. 

“I really value all that I have achieved but I rather look forward. There’s so much for me to accomplish, like the World Championships, the Olympic qualification… all that I have already accomplished is fantastic, but I am hoping to continue going on like this!”, added the current Grand Winner. 

NEW MEDAL FOR SERAP OZCELIK 

Grand Winner Serap Ozcelik also captured the attention of fans in Berlin with her qualification to the final of Female Kumite -50kg. The Turkish Karate Star edged long-time friend and current World champion Alexandra Recchia of France in semi-finals (1-1).

“It was such a strong competition! I prepared very well for this tournament, I trained very hard, so I am very happy to be in the final,” said the current Grand Winner of the category, who had to defeat her close friend Recchia to be in the last day of competition. 

“We have known each other for a very long time. It was a difficult fight but now I am focusing on the final. I just want to win!” added the Turkish fan-favourite.

The current European champion from Turkey will meet Japan’s Ayaka Tadano in the final. The winner of Karate 1-Premier League Rotterdam from Japan prevented a German celebration in Berlin since the Japanese karateka defeated local hopeful Shara Hubrich in semi-finals 1-0. 

GRAND WINNER ANZHELIKA TERLIUGA IN WINNING MODE

Anzhelika Terliuga of Ukraine also put his prominence as Grand Winner into action and presented an effective performance to reach the finals in Berlin. The current Grand Winner in Female Kumite -55kg dominated the pool with 10-2 in three bouts, and edged top favourite Sara Cardin of Italy in semi-finals by 1-0.

Anzhelika Terliuga’s rival in the final will be Estonia’s Li Lirisman. The promising young karateka, who won gold at the U21 European Championships this year, surprised favourites including World ranking leader Tzu-Yun Wen of Chinese Taipei to reach her first-ever Karate 1-Premier League final. 

In the rest of the categories today, the Japanese delegation also celebrated a successful day. In addition of Ayaka Tadano and Kiyou Shimizu’s qualification to the final, the representatives of the birth nation of the sport ended with two more finalists. In Male Kumite -60kg, Yugo Kozai surprised world champion Amir Mehdizadeh of Iran (4-3) and made it to the title-deciding bout. His rival in the final will be Italy’s Angelo Crescenzo who reaches his second medal clash of the season after winning silver at the European Championships. 

Meanwhile, Yusei Sakiyama also took the Japanese flag to the final day, in Male Kumite -75kg. The promising karateka defeated Thomas Scott of the USA in semi-finals by a convincing 7-2 and qualified for his first final of Karate 1-Premier League. In a bout between experience and youth, Sakiyama will clash in the last day of action against Karate superstar Rafael Aghayev of Azerbaijan. The five-time World champion upset local hopeful Noah Bitsch by ‘Hantei’ or decision (0-0= to make it to his fifth final this year. 

The clash for gold in Male Kumite -67kg between Italy’s Luca Maresca and Brazil’s Vinicius Figueira completed the list of finalists in the thrilling first day of action in Berlin. The competition continues on Saturday with the elimination rounds of the rest of the categories at stake. The finals are scheduled for Sunday. The medal bouts will be broadcast in a number of TV Networks around the world and will be streamed LIVE on Karateworld.tv. Click here for a list of the international TV broadcasters. 

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