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Kiyou Shimizu and Ryutaro Araga highlight Japan's authority at Karate 1-Premier League Rotterdam


The celebration of spectacular Karate being held this weekend in Rotterdam finished with the crowning of the new conquering heroes of the sport. Japan's Kiyou Shimizu and Ryutaro Araga led Japanese domination at the second big event of the season of international Karate as the birth nation of the sport prevailed with four gold medals.

Two-time world champion Kiyou Shimizu extended her outstanding record and claimed her tenth gold medal in international competitions after dominating the Female Kata category. The Japanese Karate Star has not lost a bout in major tournaments since her debut in 2011 and consolidated her legend by beating Hikaru Ono in the all-Japan final of the competition.

Fellow Japanese Star Ryutaro Araga also confirmed his status as one of Karate's biggest heroes after dominating the Male Kumite -84kg category. The defending world champion beat The Netherlands' Rene Small in the final and prevented locals from celebrating a gold medal for hosts. It is the seventh consecutive gold medal in international competitions for Araga who increases his unbeaten track of victories in over two years.

Ayumi Uekusa, who defeated Grand Winner Anastasiya Stepashko of Ukraine in Female Kumite +68kg and Issei Shimbaba who beat Karate Star and Grand Winner Damian Quintero in Male Kata completed Japan's excellent performance in Rotterdam.

French karatekas flex muscles in Rotterdam

Alexandra Recchia regained the throne of Female Kumite -50kg category after beating Morocco's Aicha Sayah in the final. The French Karate Star demonstrated her top form throughout the competition and used her world champion condition to earn her first title of the season. Recchia's victory paved the way for a successful tournament for French delegation as the European country claimed seven medals.

Steven Dacosta surprised upcoming hero Andres Madera of Venezuela in Male Kumite -67kg while Logan Da Costa shocked Karate Star Thomas Scott of the USA in Male Kumite -75kg to complete French golden track in Rotterdam.

Young Karatekas take the spotlight in final day

Rising figures of the sport took their share of prominence in the event following remarkable performances in the rest of the categories at stake. That was the case of Ukraine's Anzhelika Terluyga who won gold in Female Kumite -55kg, and China's Xiaoyan Yin who prevailed in Female Kumite -61kg.

One of the biggest upsets of the tournament occurred in the Female Kumite -68kg category. World champion Alisa Buchinger could not earn her first gold medal of the season since Iryna Zaretska of Azerbaijan presented a surprising performance to defeat world title-holder in the final.

Meanwhile, upcoming figure of the sport Sadriddin Saymatov of Uzbekistan continued his impressive gold in Paris in the first event of the season with another title after beating Kalvis Kalnins of Latvia in the final of Male Kumite -60kg.

Jonathan Horne of Germany won his first gold medal this year as the European champion defeated Daniel Gaysinsky of Canada in the final of Male Kumite +84kg. Meanwhile, Morocco and Italy claimed gold medals of Team Kata categories.

Click here for more information of the Karate 1-Premier League in Rotterdam.

About Karate 1 – Premier League 

The Karate1-Premier League- is the most important league event in the world of Karate. It comprises of a number of the most prominent Karate competitions, with the cities of Paris (France), Rotterdam (Netherlands), Dubai (UAE), Rabat (Morocco) and Halle/Leipzig (Germany) acting as the stops of this year’s edition.

The Karate 1-Premier League will also be one of the key elements in the road to the Olympic qualification since the points to be allocated in Karate 1-Premier League tournaments will play an essential role in the configuration of the World ranking. 

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