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Karates leading powers reach finals of team competitions at World Championships


The full list of finalists of the 2016 edition of the Karate World Championships was completed after the third day of competition of the outstanding tournament being held in Linz (Austria). As team competitions took the stage of the final day of the elimination rounds, Karate’s dominant nations ruled the quest to gold in the Kumite categories.

Extending their successful performance in the team kata event, Japan achieved their third final of the tournament in group categories after shining in Male Team Kumite. Led by World Championships finalist Ryutaro Araga and formed by Rikiya Iimura, Masaya Ishizuka, Hideyoshi Kagawa, Ken Nishimura, Hiroto Shinohara and Daisuke Watanabe, the Japanese squad presented a flawless participation and defeated current silver medallists Germany in yet another final for the delegation of the birth nation of the sport.

Aiming at winning two consecutive gold medals in the category in the category in World Championships, Iran followed their own footsteps from two years ago and qualified for the final in Linz. With finalist Sajad Ganjzadeh as main representative, the line up composed by Saeid Ahmadikaryani, Bahman Asgari Ghonheh, Ali Fadakar, Mahdi Khodabakhshi, Zabiollah Poorshab and Ima Sanchooli showcased such a supremacy in the competition that the Iranian side did not receive a single point in their four bouts of the day. The current gold medallists defeated front-runners Azerbaijan with superstar Rafael Aghayev on their ranks, Netherlands and France to make it to the final.

France and Spain shine in Female Team Kumite

France delegation also had reasons to celebrate and completed their impressive performance in Linz with their fifth final of the competition after reaching the title-deciding bout in Female Team Kata. The French representatives, with the final in Male Team Kata already on their belts, used the sensational performance of Alexandra Recchia and Lucie Ignace to earn the spot in the last clash of the tournament. Recchia and Ignace, who had reached the finals on their respective categories, together with Alizee Agier and Leila Heurtault paved the way to an outstanding performance and beat surprising Ecuador to sign their fourth consecutive final in World Championships as a team.

In yet another big upset of the tournament, Spain beat defending champions Egypt to reach the final of the competition and face France for the gold medal. The collective power of Spanish side formed by Cristina Ferrer, Laura Palacio, Rocio Sanchez and Cristina Vizcaino help the young side to climb their way to the quest for the two highest positions of the podium after a series of disputed victories. The fierce Spaniards, who finished in fifth position two years ago defeated Russia, Azerbaijan and Italy so to meet current gold medallists and superstar Giana Lotfy's Egypt. In an extremely tight clash, Spaniards put the 2-1 that sent the representatives of the Iberian nation to their second final in team competitions in Linz.

Touching Para-Karate event

The third day of competition was highlighted by yet another moving showcase of courage by the Para-Karate athletes. Just as the Blind & Visually impaired and the Intellectually impaired karatekas did in the previous days, the competitors in the wheelchair category demonstrated their power of will in skillful and impressive katas in a memorable competition.

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