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New Grand Winners dazzle in day 2 of Karate 1-Premier League Madrid


The newly-proclaimed Grand Winners demonstrated their strength in the second day of competition of the Karate 1-Premier League Madrid. The final event of the season of Karate 1-Premier League crowned karatekas who are being awarded the honour of the “Best of the Best” of the year. Xiaoyan Yin, Ugur Aktas and Sajad Ganjzadeh were among the stars today in Madrid. 


Spain’s Damian Quintero gave local fans reasons to celebrate as the Spanish star qualified for the final of Male Kata at home. Quintero, who has been in all but one of the Karate 1-Premier League finals this year confirmed his favourite status with a dominating performance. The current World Championships runner-up got a score of 26.34 points with “Anan Dai” kata. 

The representative of the host country will fight for gold against Turkey’s Ali Sofuoglu who surprised the powerful line-up of Japanese karatekas here. The current European Championships runner-up prevailed in his pool with “Kanku Sho” kata and a score of 25.74 points. The title-deciding bout between Quintero and Sofuoglu will be a repetition of the last three finals of the European Championships. 


China’s Xiaoyan Yin performed at a great level and qualified for the final of Female Kumite -61kg thus stating her intentions of recovering the Grand Winner award which she won in 2017. The Chinese karateka dominated the competition and confirmed her ticket to the final after beating Ukraine’s Diana Shostak in semi-finals (2-0). 

The other side of the pool was decided with a surprising outcome since Russia’s Nailya Gataullina reached her second Karate 1-Premier League final. The Russian karateka who has the silver medal at the 2016 Karate 1-Premier League Rotterdam as her best result upset favourites and made it to the final after defeating Leila Heurtault of France in semi-finals 5-2. 


Ugur Aktas of Turkey took a decisive step towards securing the Grand Winner award for the second year in a row after producing a forceful performance in Madrid. The current owner of the karategi with the golden embroidery qualified for the final after edging former Grand Winner Ryutaro Araga of Japan 1-0. It will be the third Karate 1-Premier League final of the season for the current European champion. 

The other side of the tatami will be taken by Daniyar Yuldashev of Kazakhstan. The promising Kazak karateka had not reached the final stages of the competition since his silver at the 2018 Karate 1-Premier League Berlin. Yuldashev earned the ticket to the final day after beating Panah Abdullayev of Azerbaijan in semi-finals 3-1. 


Right after being proclaimed new Grand Winner of Male Kumite +84kg, Sajad Ganzjadeh of Iran showed top form to dominate the competition in Madrid. The Iranian karateka was Grand Winner in 2017 and recovers now the karategi with the golden embroidery. The current World Championships runner-up defeated Rodrigo Rojas of Chile in a tight semi-final 3-3. 

The surprise came in the other side of the bracket as promising karateka Dnylson Jacquet of France upset favourites to reach his first-ever final of Karate 1-Premier League. The young French athlete beat Saleh Abazari of Iran in semi-finals 3-2 and prevented an all-Iran final in the category. 

The day ended with two leading names in the category of Female Kumite +68kg making it to the final. Eleni Chatziliadou of Greece and Sofya Berultseva of Kazakhstan will clash for gold in a title-deciding bout up for grabs. Chatziliadou is the current World Champion and reached the final of Karate 1-Premier League for the last time in 2018 in Shanghai. The Greek fan favourite qualified for the title-deciding match following a 2-0 victory in semi-finals over Ayaka Saito of Japan. Meanwhile, Sofya Berultseva has been one of the sensations of the season after claiming seven medals this year including silver at the continental championships. The Kazak up-and-coming athlete upset local hopeful Maria Torres in semi-finals (2-0) and completed the brilliant performance of Kazakhstan’s representatives in the tournament. 

The medals of the Karate 1-Premier League Madrid will be decided on Sunday in the final day of competition. All the medal bouts will be streamed LIVE on and on many TV networks around the world. CLICK HERE to go to a list of all the TV network providers. 

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