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Top karatekas set for gold as thrilling second day of #Karate1Dubai concludes


The best karatekas in the world continued performing at an outstanding level in the second day of action at the Karate 1-Premier League Dubai. Ryo Kiyuna, Ugur Aktas and Gwendoline Philippe were the Grand Winners who won the tickets to the finals today as new names took the spotlight in the categories at stake. 

Just as it happened in Female Kata, the front-runners of Male Kata dominated the competition. In a new confrontation of Japan versus Spain in the category of choreographed movements, the final of Male Kata will see World champion Ryo Kiyuna of Japan against World Championships runner-up Damian Quintero of Spain. 

Both Grand Winner Kiyuna and former Grand Winner Quintero excelled with their performances of "Anan Dai" Kata in the last round to prevail in their pools, with 24.34 points for the Spanish Karate Star and 26.28 for the three-time World champion from Japan. It will be the second consecutive time that Kiyuna and Quintero meet in the final of a major international competition after their confrontation in the World Championships and in the Karate 1-Premier League Paris. 

The final of Female Kumite -61kg will also have the same contenders as in the opening event in Paris. The two finalists in the French capital, Gwendoline Philippe of France and Giana Lotfy of Egypt will meet again after prevailing today in Dubai. Grand Winner Gwendoline Philippe took a convincing victory in semi-finals over Canada’s Haya Jumaa by 8-0 while two-time World champion Giana Lotfy beat Iran’s Rozita Alipourkeshka in semi-finals by 4-1. 

The current Grand Winner also played a leading role in Male Kumite -84kg. Ugur Aktas, who barely missed the medal bouts in Paris last month, showed strength to qualify for his first final in Karate 1-Premier League since his victory in Tokyo last year. The Turkish Grand Winner defeated Iran’s Zabihollah Poorshab in semi-finals 2-0. His rival in the final will be Ali Fadakar also from Iran thus giving the Iranian delegation the opportunity to avenge Poorshab’s defeat in semi-final. Finalist Ali Fadakar took silver last year in Dubai and has not won gold in international competitions since his triumph in Karate 1 Jakarta in 2012. 

The list of Grand Winners in the finals here was on the brink of increasing but Alizee Agier could not take the karate-gi with the golden embroidery to the title-deciding bout in Female Kumite -68kg. The French fan favourite lost in the semi-final bout against Irina Zaretska of Azerbaijan, who incidentally was Grand Winner the previous season. Zaretska won the match 4-2 and aims at her first Karate 1-Premier League crown since her victory in Dubai in 2017. The former Grand Winner representing Azerbaijan will clash for gold against Egypt’s Feryal Abdeladiz. The Egyptian karateka showed a great level today and made it to her first Karate 1-Premier League final following a convincing 5-1 victory over Austria’s Alisa Buchinger in semi-finals.

Also one step away from the final, Grand Winner Jonathan Horne reached the semi-finals but could not make it to his first title-deciding bout since his triumph in the 2018 Karate 1-Series A Shanghai. The Karate Star from Germany lost the semi-final bout against France’s Mehdi Filali. The French karateka got the victory by “Senshu” or first unopposed point (1-1) and aims at the second gold in Karate 1-Premier League after his victory last year in Rabat. 

Meanwhile, Japan clinched their fourth final spot today with Hideyoshi Kagawa’s qualification to the title-deciding bout in Male Kumite +84kg. The promising karateka defeated Russia’s Alexander Pshenitsyn in semi-finals 2-0 and reached the last day of competition for the first time after his victory in Tokyo last year. 

French representatives completed their successful performance in the tournament and placed another karateka in the gold medal clashes. In one of the most thrilling bouts of the day, Anne Laure Florentin defeated Shymaa Aboualyazed of Egypt after a roller-coaster of semi-final (4-3). It will be Florentin’s first final in Karate 1-Premier League after her silver medal in Dubai last year. 

Florentin will clash for gold against Italy’s Clio Ferracuti. The Italian karateka performed at an impressive level today and defeated Egypt’s Aisha Mohamed in semi-finals (4-2) to make it to the second final of her career following the silver medal she got last year in Berlin

The action concludes on Sunday with the medal bouts and the anticipated finals. The competition starts at 10:00 (local time) with the bronze medal bouts. The Finals are scheduled to start at 14.30 (local time). All the thrilling action from the last day is available LIVE on karateworld. 

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