Karate 2020 Olympic Qualification Tournament: Days 2 & 3 Preview
The Karate 2020 Olympic Qualification Tournament in Paris from June 11 to 13 promises to be a hotly contested battle
The Karate 2020 Olympic Qualification Tournament in Paris from June 11 to 13 promises to be a hotly contested battle in eight Kata and Kumite categories for the final 24 spots up for grabs for Tokyo 2020.
On Day 2 of the competition at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin this Saturday, karateka in the Male Kata, Kumite Female -61kg and Kumite Male -75kg will hit the mats beginning at 9 a.m. local time.
Following the repechages and ranking rounds, the top four karateka from each category will return to the tatami at 18:00 for the finals: a round-robin format in which the top three will book their tickets to Tokyo.
The three Olympic berths in the Male Kata category will be fiercely fought for by an elite pool that includes PKF champion Ariel Torres (USA), UFAK champion Adnane Elhakimi (MOR), PKF Championships runner-up Ahmad Zigi Zaresta Yuda (INA) and 2016 World Championships bronze medallist and 2014 World Championships silver medallist Ilja Smogurner (GER).
A trio of champions will lead the way in the Female Kumite -61kg, with OKF Champion and 2010 World Champion Kristina Mah (AUS), Pan American Games Champion Alexandra Grande (PER) and 2010 EKF Champion Vassiliki Panetsidou (GRE) considered among the ones to beat.
In the Male Kumite -75kg category, all comers will have to go through PKF Champion Thomas Scott (USA), UFAK Champion Abdalla Abdelaziz (EGY), OKF Champion Tsuneari Yahiro (AUS), EKF Champion Dionysios Xenos (GRE), and two-time World champion (2012, 2014) Douglas Brose (BRA) to reach the final round.
THRILLING DAY 3
On Day 3 this Sunday, Olympic tickets in the Kumite Female +61kg and Kumite Male +75kg will be determined. The action will begin at 10:00 a.m. local time, with the finals starting at 17:00.
The women’s side will be led by UFAK Champion and 2019 U21 World Champion Feryal Abdelaziz (EGY), OKF Champion Amy Thomason (NZL), and AKF Champion Ceyco Georgia Zefanya (INA). Also contending for podium spots are two-time continental champion Elena Quirici (SUI), and 2016 World Championships runner-up Katrine Pedersen (DEN). Also among the top favourites are 2018 World Champion Eleni Chatzliadou (GRE), 2016 World Champion Alisa Buchinger (AUT), and 2014 World Champion Alizee Agier (FRA).
The sport’s big men will go toe to toe in the Kumite Male +75kg category, led by AKF Champion Tareq Hamedi (KSA), UFAK Champion Thameur Slimani (TUN), UFAK Champion Hocine Daikhi (ALG), and 2014 World Champion Gogita Arkania (GEO).
In total, 500 karateka from 98 countries will be in Paris this weekend looking to qualify for Karate’s debut at the Olympic Games this summer. Eighty athletes (40 women and 40 men) will take part in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, with 40 karateka having already qualified as per the WKF rankings.
For a preview of Day 1 of the Paris qualifiers, click here.