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Japan dominate first day of Karate 1-Series A Salzburg


Kazumasa Moto of Japan became the big hero of the first day of competition of the record-breaking Karate 1-Series Salzburg. The Japanese Kata ace claimed his second gold in Karate 1-Series A this year and headed the domination of representatives of the birth nation of the sport in the opening day in Salzburg. 

After taking gold in the Karate 1-Series A Guadalajara barely a month ago, Kazumasa Moto continued performing at a great level in this start of the season and reached the top of the podium also in Salzburg. The Japanese karateka surprised in the second Karate 1-Series A event of the year and defeated teammate Kakeru Nishiyama by unanimous decision (5-0) in the final. 

The first day of Karate action in Salzburg was a showcase of Japan’s domination in Kata categories. The Male Kata competition finished with Japanese karatekas taking all four medals, while the representatives of the Asian country are also capitalising all the awards in the Female Kata competition. 

Kiyou Shimizu confirmed her favourite status and made it to her third final this year after prevailing in the Female Kata competition in Salzburg. The two-time World champion bounced back from the surprising defeat in Karate 1-Premier League Dubai barely two weeks ago, and won all her bouts by 5-0 except the 4-1 victory over Italy’s Carola Casale. 

The Japanese Kata queen will meet in the final fellow teammate Natsuki Shimizu who surprised qualifying for the title-deciding bout for the first time in her international career. The young Japanese karateka, who only had a bronze medal in 2017 Karate 1-Series A Istanbul to count for, upset favourite Hikaru Ono (4-1) in semifinals to fight for her first gold medal in international competitions. 

The tournament continues on Saturday with the first categories of Male and Female Kumite and the finals of Female Kata, Female Kumite -50kg, -61kg and -68kg and Male Kumite -67kg and -75kg. 

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