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Preview Linz 2016: Japan against the world in Female Kata


After winning five of the eight possible gold medals in Female individual and team Kata competitions in the last four editions of the World Championships, one of the biggest enigmas of Linz 2016 will be to know if Japan’s domination in Female Kata continues or ends in Karate’s top event to be held in the Austrian city from October 25-30.

Japanese Star Kiyou Shimizu will bring together the options from Karate’s birth nation in their quest to extend their superiority in Kata category. After her own shocking triumph in 2014 World Championships at only 18 years-of-age, and following Rika Usami’s memorable victory in 2012 in Paris, the current title holder will try to add the third consecutive gold for Japan in the category.

22 year-old Shimizu hopes to repeat her impressive demonstration in Bremen two years ago, when the young Japanese heroine beat Sandy Scordo of France in a celebrated final. In Linz, more experienced and with two gold medals in Karate 1-Premier League events this year under her belt, Shimizu acts as main front-runner of the category, and will try to use her flawless technique in the quest to the top of the podium.

On the other side of the tatami and hoping to upset the big favourite, a group of Karatekas from many diverse origins will try to end Japan’s six-year run in the category. Leading the way is Karate Star Sandra Sanchez of Spain. The world ranking leader, after her demonstration in the European Championships and after earning four medals in four appearances in Karate 1-Premier League events this year takes the pole position as main contenders in the race to the top of the podium in Linz.

With the absence of silver medallist Sandy Scordo of France, the attention will be also set in bronze medallist Jasmin Bleul of Germany, while Pan American champion and 2012 World Championships bronze medallist Sakura Kokumai of USA will try to take back the title to the American continent after Venezuela’s Yohana Sanchez victory in Belgrade 2010.

Young and upcoming karateka Dilara Bozan of Turkey, Italy’s Viviana Bottaro and world raking third placed Maria Dimitrova of Dominican Republic, among many others will try to take their chances in Linz. A total of 65 athletes from 65 countries will compete in the thrilling Female Kata competition in Linz.

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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