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Historic first day of action in #Karate1Paris

2019-01-25

The 2019 Karate 1-Premier League started in Paris (France) with a thrilling and historic opening day of competition. The new Kata system was officially implemented for the first time while the season of international Karate begun with defending World champions leaving their mark. 

FEMALE KATA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS FINAL, TAKE TWO 

One of the highlights of the finals of the 2019 Karate 1-Premier League Paris will be the title-deciding bout in Female Kata. The clash will feature Sandra Sanchez of Spain and Kiyou Shimizu of Japan, and it will be a repetition of the final of the last Karate World Championships. In the historic bout in Madrid, Sandra Sanchez surprised and dethroned two-time World title-holder Shimizu. 

Now, in Paris, it will be the moment for Shimizu to avenge that defeat while Sanchez hopes to continue her winning streak so to topple her rival of the first place of the Olympic standings.  

“I am very thrilled to have the chance to compete in this final. Paris is very special for me since I started my international career here. However, I never won this tournament,” said Sandra Sanchez who made her debut as new World champion in Karate 1-Premier League events. “When I get to the competition, I never think of what I just won but what I still get to win,” added the Grand Winner. 

WORLD CHAMPION ANGELO CRESCENZO CONTINUES ON TOP FORM

In Male Kumite -60kg, the current World title-holder also left his mark. After taking the crown in Madrid, Angelo Crescenzo of Italy continued dominating the category. The 25-year-old karateka prevailed in the pool with an impressive count of 12-5 in three bouts. Then, the World champion edged Russia’s Evgeny Plakhutin in semi-finals (4-3) to make it to the last bout of the tournament. 

His rival in the final will be Majid Hassan Niaidelaimi of Iran who surprised and upset favourites on the other side of the pool. The 2017 AKF silver medallist beat Saudi Arabia’s Saud Albasher in semi-finals to reach his first Karate 1-Premier League final

CLASH OF TITANS IN FEMALE KUMITE -50KG

Extending the successful performance of World champions today, current title-holder Miho Miyahara of Japan continued her impressive run and reached the final of Female Kumite -50kg. After her forceful demonstration in the World Championships, the Japanese representative qualified to the final following an outstanding 6-3 victory over Italy’s Erminia Perfetto in semi-finals. 

The final in this category will be a true clash of titans since the World champion is fighting for gold against defending Grand Winner and current World Championships runner-up Serap Ozcelik of Turkey. It will be another final repeated with two of the most dominating competitors facing each other on the tatamis in Paris. 

“This is the first Karate 1-Premier League of the year so it is very important to have such a good start,” said two-time Grand Winner Serap Ozcelik. “The competition is getting harder and harder with very strong competitors. I want to continue being Grand Winner and I want to win the award this year again,” added the Turkish Karate Star. 

STEVEN DACOSTA SHINES AT HOME

The fourth World champion qualifying for the finals today was Steven Dacosta of France. Taking the home-ground factor in his favour, the World title-holder showcased outstanding level in front of family and friends. The new rising star of French karate dominated the pool with 8-1 in four bouts and went to defeat Italy’s Francesco D’Onofrio in semi-finals by a convincing 6-0. 

“I did not perform at the level that I usually do, but it was my first appearance as World champion, so I am happy that I could win at home. I was very concentrated, very firm physically, so things went very well for me today,” declared the French World champion. 

The final of Male Kumite -67kg will see Dacosta clashing against Italy’s Luca Maresca. The 2015 European champion beat Kazakhstan’s Didar Amirali in semi-finals (3-0) and reached his first final since his triumph in Karate 1-Premier League Berlin last year. 

DOROTA BANASZCZYK MAKES BRILLIANT WORLD TITLE DEBUT

In Female Kumite -55kg the current World champion also made it to the final. After claiming a surprising World title in Madrid barely two months ago, Poland’s Dorota Banaszczyk proved to be an admirable defending world title-holder with a forceful qualification to the final in Paris. The 21-year-old karateka upset Italy’s Lorena Busa by a convincing 5-0 in semi-finals. 

Coming back after a deserving performance last year, Ukraine’s Anzhelika Terliuga took the first step towards re-taking the Grand Winner award which she won two years ago with a ticket to the first final of the season. Terliuga, who claimed bronze in Paris last year edged Japan’s Fumika Ishiai by ‘Hantei’ or decision to reach the final of the category.  

RAFAEL AGHAYEV AND KEN NISHIMURA AGAIN IN FINAL OF MALE KUMITE -75KG

The only category that finished with the current World champion out of the quest of the medals was Male Kumite -75kg. With defending title-holder Bahman Asgari Ghoncheh of Iran eliminated, Ken Nishimura of Japan and Rafael Aghayev of Azerbaijan took a step forward and qualified for the final thus repeating the title-deciding bout of last year’s Karate 1-Premier League Paris. 

The winner of the last Karate 1-Premier League Paris Ken Nishimura qualified to fight for a second consecutive crown after showing a great level today. The Japanese promising karateka defeated Stanislav Horuna of Ukraine in semi-finals by 3-0.  

Despite suffering a gruesome injury in the face, Rafael Aghayev managed to overcome difficulties to reach his second consecutive final in Paris. The five-time World champion beat Iran’s Ashgar Asiabari Ali by 2-1 in semi-finals for a new chance to fight for gold. 

Action continues on Saturday with the second day of competition. The medal bouts on Sunday will be available to a worldwide viewing audience on karateworld.tv. 

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