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Preview Linz 2016: Fierce competition under Rafael Aghayevs domination in Male Kumite -75kg


As four-time World champion and one of Karate’s biggest star, Rafael Aghayev will take the spotlight of the 2016 Karate World Championships as soon as the Azerbajani hero will step into the tatami in Linz. Followed by legions of fans, the 31-year old athlete will gather much of the attention of the biggest Karate event in the quest to gold in Linz. Karate enthusiasts from around the world are looking forward to witnessing if the multi-medal winner manages to earn his fifth world crown, thus extending his legend as one of most outstanding Karatekas of all times.

Flourishing extraordinary speed and impressive array of techniques, Rafael Aghayev showcases a spectacular list of honours after winning six medals in World Championships and no less than 18 medals in European Championships. Absent from the 2014 World Championships, the Azeri top karateka earned silver in his last appearance in the biggest Karate event in 2012. Previously, Aghayev had claimed gold in the 2006, 2008 and 2010 World Championships.

While Aghayev’s career in international competition certainly is outstanding, his domination in the category is challenged by one of the most competed division of international Karate. A long list of first-class karatekas are lined-up to claim the title currently in Tani Ryuichi of Japan’s hand.

As top candidate, USA’s Thomas Scott will try to win his first medal in World Championships. The world ranking leader has reached podium in all his appearances in major international competitions in nearly two years, and caused a sensation in one of top events of the season, the Karate 1-Premier League in Paris. The 2015 Pan American champion acts as one of USA’s hopes to end their medal drought in World Championships after finishing the 2014 tournament in Bremen empty handed and claiming two bronze medals in Paris in 2012.

Current silver medallist Luigi Busa will try to climb one step further in the final podium, and use Tani Ryuichi’s absence in Linz to get gold in the event. The Italian ace has only competed in three major tournaments this year and has only the silver medal earned in Karate 1-Premier League in Paris to his count, so the 29-year old hopes to succeed in the biggest stage of the sport. 

Other of 2014 medallists in action in Linz, Ukraine’s Stanislav Horuna will try to take their chances to claim the spotlight in the World Championships after his bronze in Bremen, so to increase his tally of ten medals in major international competitions. Top Turkey competitor Erman Eltemur also hopes to shine in Linz after his surprising gold medals in Karate 1-Premier League events in Istanbul and Rotterdam and his second position in the European Championships. Upcomers Seryozha Sargsyan of Armenia, Gabor Harspataki of Hungary, and Iran’s Aliashghar Asiabari represent the new breed of top karatekas in Linz, while Stefan Pokorny will lead hosts’ hopes in the event.

Go to the World Championships section to find more information on Linz 2016. 

All the best photos and videos from on the tatamis and behind the scenes of the World Championships will be posted on the WKF’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram pages.

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