New Grand Winners to be proclaimed at Karate 1 Premier League Dublin
The new class of Grand Winners will be crowned next week at the 2023 Karate 1-Premier League in Dublin.
The “Best of the Best” of the 2023 Karate 1-Premier League will be decided in Dublin as the city in Ireland hosts the closing event of the season. Excitement will dominate the competition as the title of Grand Winner is still up for grabs in all but one of the 12 categories.
ANZHELIKA TERLIUGA BAGS THIRD CONSECUTIVE GRAND WINNER AWARD
Ukraine’s Anzhelika Terliuga is the only karate to secure the Grand Winner award after completing an outstanding season in the category of Female Kumite -55kg. The Olympic Games silver medallist from Ukraine has won the titles at the events in Rabat and Fukuoka to claim her third consecutive Grand Winner award. The “Best of the Best” in the division since 2019, Terliuga will get to wear the special karategi with the golden embroidery next year, a testament to her domination of the category.
HIKARU ONO AND MO SHEUNG GRACE LAU RUN FOR AWARD IN FEMALE KATA
The Grand Winner award in Female Kata will go to either Hikaru Ono of Japan or Mo Sheung Grace Lau of Hong Kong. With the absence of standings leader Kiyou Shimizu of Japan, the two kata aces from Japan and Hong Kong hope to take the award with only a 120-point difference in the standings.
Defending Grand Winner Hikaru Ono aims at keeping the title following her three medals this season (gold in Fukuoka and bronze medals in Rabat and Cairo) while Olympic Games bronze medallist and current continental champion Mo Sheung Grace Lau has taken three silver medals in the three events of the season.
GRAND WINNER AWARD IN FEMALE KUMITE -50KG GOING TO YORGELIS SALAZAR OR REEM AHMED SALAMA
The title in Female Kumite -50kg will also have two contenders: Yorgelis Salazar of Venezuela and Reem Ahmed Salama of Egypt.
One of the most exciting duels of the season, the two candidates are separated by only 330 points. Current Grand Winner Yorgelis Salazar took gold in Rabat, silver in Cairo, and bronze in Fukuoka as the Egyptian karateka who is the defending continental champion won the titles in Cairo and Fukuoka.
FULL LIST OF CANDIDATES IN FEMALE KUMITE -61KG
No less than five karatekas have options to take the Grand Winner award in Female Kumite -61kg. Reem Khamis of Germany is the leader of the standings after winning silver in Fukuoka and bronze in Cairo.
However, Oleksandra Sholokhova of Ukraine, Sarara Shimada of Japan, Yuji Kujuro of Japan, and Nina Radjenovic of Switzerland all have chances to take the award as they are all separated by a margin of 750 points.
CLASH OF TITANS FOR GRAND WINNER IN FEMALE KUMITE -68KG
Two of the most decorated and two of the biggest fan favourite athletes in Female Kumite -68kg are running for the award in the category. Elena Quirici of Switzerland and Irina Zaretska of Azerbaijan will clash for the title, with Quirici leading by a margin of 720 points
Irina Zaretska is the current owner of the award and has taken the special karategi in 2022, 2019, and 2017. Quirici, who is the defending continental champion, was the Grand Winner in 2016.
JAPAN RULING IN FEMALE KUMITE +68KG
Japan will celebrate the Grand Winner Award in Female Kumite +68kg since Ayumi Uekusa and Ayaka Saito, both from Japan, have chances to bag the title. With second-ranked karateka Sofya Berultseva of Kazakhstan absent from the event, the two Japanese athletes opt for the award with a 900-point difference.
Current continental champion Uekusa was the Grand Winner in 2019, 2018, and 2017 and has taken gold medals in Cairo and Fukuoka. Teammate Ayaka Saito is the defending Grand Winner and won silver in Fukuoka.
KAKERU NISHIYAMA AND KAZUMASA MOTO TIED IN QUEST TO GRAND WINNER IN MALE KATA
Two Japanese athletes are also the frontrunners in Male Kata. Kakeru Nishiyama and Kazumasa Moto are tied at the top of the standings with 2070 points each.
Both athletes have dominated the season, with current Grand Winner Nishiyama claiming the title in Rabat, and Moto winning gold in Fukuoka. The crown in Cairo was taken by Damian Quintero of Spain, who will not participate in Dublin.
While Nishiyama and Moto lead the standings, USA’s Gakuji Tozaki and Ariel Torres and Japan’s Aoi Funada also have a chance to win the award.
LONG LIST OF NAMES GOING FOR THE AWARD IN MALE KUMITE -60KG
No less than seven karatekas could eventually win the Grand Winner award in Male Kumite -60kg. Standings leader Abdullah Shaaban of Kuwait heads the list of frontrunners. Nonetheless, Hiromu Hashimoto of Japan, Christos-Stefanos Xenos of Greece, Angelo Crescenzo of Italy, Abdallah Hammad of Jordan, Florian Haas of Germany, and Omar Shaqrah of Jordan are all separated by an 810-point margin in the standings and have options to take the award should they win in Dublin.
Out of the seven candidates for the award, only Angelo Crescenzo has taken the special karategi in the past, as he was proclaimed Grand Winner in 2021 and 2015.
GRAND WINNER DIONYSIOS XENOS AMONG CANDIDATES IN MALE KUMITE -67KG
The category of Male Kumite -67kg has four karatekas on the line for the award. Among the contenders, defending Grand Winner Dionysios Xenos of Greece hopes to take the title, while the standings are headed by Olympian Abdel Rahman Almasatfa of Jordan. Hiroki Nakano and Yugo Kozaki both of Japan also have chances to win the award.
NEW NAMES FOR AWARD IN MALE KUMITE -75KG
The Grand Winner in Male Kumite -75kg will be a newcomer, as the three candidates for the award have never won the title.
The standings are topped by Quentin Mahauden of Belgium, but only 60 points separate the Belgian athlete from second-ranked Abdalla Hesham Abdelgawad of Egypt. Omer Faruk Yurur of Turkiye is the third karateka with options competing in Dublin.
THRILLING QUEST FOR GRAND WINNER IN MALE KUMITE -84KG
The standings in Male Kumite -84kg are headed by Jordan’s Mohammad Aljafari. In the second place, at 660 points, Italy’s Matteo Fiore hopes to surprise in Dublin. The third athlete on the line is Valerii Chobotar of Ukraine, who is at 900 points of the leader.
GRAND WINNER AWARD IN MALE KUMITE +84KG TO BE DECIDED AT LAST MINUTE
The run for Grand Winner in Male Kumite +84kg is set to be a gripping quest, since five karatekas still have chances to take the award. Spain’s Babacar Seck Sakho heads the standings but Ukraine’s Ryzvan Talibov, Italy’s Matteo Avanzini, Turkiye’s Fatih Sen, and Curacao’s Rob Timmermans could still take the title.
The ceremony of proclamation of the new Grand Winner will be held on Sunday after the medal awards.
The Karate 1-Premier League Dublin is scheduled from September 8 to 10. The eliminations will be available LIVE on the WKF YouTube channel. The medal bouts on Sunday can be followed on Fight Sports and many TV networks around the world. FULL LIST OF TV NETWORKS