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Top karatekas gather in record-breaking Karate 1-Series A in Salzburg


Over 1400 karatekas from 86 countries will meet in Salzburg (Austria) for a Karate 1-Series A event that is set to break all participation records. The tally of competitors who have registered to compete in Salzburg continues the trend of increasing attendance of karatekas in international tournaments; the massive participation of athletes at the third Karate 1-Series A of the season confirms the growing and remarkable interest of Karate enthusiasts to be part of the biggest events of the sport.

The 2017 Karate 1-Series A in Salzburg presents a 57% increase in the number of participants since nearly 600 karatekas from 51 countries competed at the 2016 edition of the tournament. The two first Karate 1-Series A tournaments this season registered 620 competitors in Toledo (Spain) and 1140 karatekas in Istanbul (Turkey). The most attended Karate international event this year was the Karate 1-Premier League in Halle/Leipzig with over 1200 competitors, a number that is expected to be clearly exceeded in Salzburg. 


The tournament being held this weekend in Salzburg will also be another opportunity for top karatekas to clash for the domination of the sport. Japanese competitors have prevailed in the last events of international Karate. With 16 medals in the Karate 1-Premier League in Halle/Leipzig and 12 medals in Karate 1-Series A in Istanbul, the representatives of the birth nation of the sport are the rivals to beat in Salzburg.

World champions Kiyou Shimizu, Ryo Kiyuna, Ayumi Uekusa and Ryutaro Araga lead the way of Japan delegation in the Austrian city. Fans will be looking forward to finding out if Japanese karatekas can continue their domination especially in Kata categories. Out of the 32 medals in individual Kata competitions at stake in the last top four international events, 19 of them have ended in Japanese karatekas’ hands, including all the medals in Istanbul and all but one in Halle/Leipzig.

Alexandra Grande of Peru will also capture the attention of Karate enthusiasts since the current winner of The World Games will try to become the only karateka who manages to win three golds at the Karate 1-Series A this year.

The hopes of Austrian fans will be centred in local heroines Alisa Buchinger and Bettina Plank. The two current World Championships medallists of the organising country will try to shine at home in Salzburg. World title-holder Alisa Buchinger hopes to claim her fourth medal this season after her silver medals at the Karate 1-Premier League in Rotterdam and the Karate 1-Series A in Istanbul and her triumph at the European Championships. Meanwhile, Bettina Plank also aims at her fourth award this year following her two bronze medals at the Karate 1-Series A in Toledo and in the European Championships and her victory at the Karate 1-Premier League in Dubai.

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