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Massive celebration of Karate in Istanbul


The second day of the Karate 1-Series A Istanbul continued the demonstration of the popularity of the discipline in Turkey and is set to crown new names of the sport. Local hopeful Eray Samdan, World champion Irina Zaretska and Iranian continental champion Hamideh Abbasali were among the karatekas succeeding in day 2 of the massive event. 

With over 1800 athletes from 102 countries registered to participate, the Karate 1-Series A Istanbul became one of the most popular events of the season thus far. Eray Samdan continued the success of local representatives at home and qualified for the final in Male Kumite -60kg. The Grand Winner of the category used the home-ground factor in his favour to edge Darkhan Assadilov of Kazakhstan in semi-finals by ‘Hantei’ or decision (0-0) so to qualify for his second consecutive final after claiming silver in Karate 1-Premier League Rabat. The promising Turkish athlete will face Yerkinbek Baitureyev of Kazakhstan in the final. The Kazakh karateka surprised and defeated former Grand Winner Sadriddin Saymatov of Uzbekistan in semi-finals (1-1) to make it to his first-ever final in senior competitions. 


Iran’s Hamideh Abbasali became other of the big names of the day as she qualified for the final in Female Kumite +68kg. The Iranian karateka who has been selected #IpponOfTheMonth by fans this month, made it to her first final in major international events after her title at the 2018 AKF Championships. The current continental champion beat Tunisia’s Chahnez Jami in semi-finals (5-0) and will clash for gold against Ayaka Saito of Japan. The Japanese karateka defeated Kazakhstan Sofya Berultseva 2-1 in semi-finals. 

In Female Kumite -68kg, World champion Irina Zaretska of Azerbaijan was one of the few favourites succeeding today in Istanbul. The current World title-holder made it to her second final this year following a victory by ‘Hantei’ or decision (0-0) over Japan’s Kayo Someya. The other spot in the final is taken by Marina Rakovic of Montenegro who has never reached the finals of a major competition since taking silver at the 2014 Balkan Championships. The karateka from Montenegro shocked World ranking leader Elena Quirici of Switzerland in semi-finals 4-0 and claimed one of the biggest upsets of the day.

The list of finalists of the day was completed with Hiroto Shinohara of Japan and Dionysios Xenos of Greece who will clash for gold in Male Kumite -67kg. The Japanese karateka edged Ukraine’s Oleksandr Khakhula while the Greek fan favourite beat Egypt’s Abdallah Hesham Abdelgawad. The categories at stake today will be finalised with Male Kumite -75kg. 

Action will continue on Sunday with the last day of competition. The winners of the event will be crowned on Sunday at the finals which are scheduled for the afternoon. CLICK HERE to go to the micro-site of Karate 1-Serie A Istanbul. 

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