Victories for promising karatekas in #Karate1Matosinhos
The 2023 Karate 1-Series A Matosinhos concluded Sunday with promising karatekas taking a stand in the final Karate 1-Series A event of the season.
The hosts of Portugal had plenty of reasons to celebrate since Joaquim Mendes won gold in Male Kumite -67kg. The local karateka beat Younesse Salmi of France 2-0 to take the flag of the organising country to the top of the podium.
Up-and-coming karateka Natalia Vargova of Slovakia won her first international gold after defeating Sophia Bouderbane of France in the final of Female Kumite -50kg 5-0.
The triumph in Female Kumite -55kg also went to a promising karateka as Mia Bitsch of Germany claimed a slim 1-0 triumph over Finland’s Venla Karttunen. It is the second biggest victory for the 2023 EKF U21 Championships bronze medallist after her crown at the 2022 Karate 1-Series A Pamplona.
The second gold medal of the day for Germany was taken by Amelie Luecke in Female Kumite +68kg. A first-time finalist in senior divisions, the German karateka beat Zeyna Gaballa of Turkiye by “Hantei” or decision (0-0).
The All-Japan final of Female Kata was taken by Mishima Kiri who defeated teammate Utsonomiya Reina with scores 42.6 to 40.6. Kiri excelled in her presentation of “Chibana no Kushanku” kata and won her second title of the season after her triumph in Larnaca.
Meanwhile, in Male Kata, Rey Chinen of the United States prevented the double gold for Japan since he beat the Japanese representative Yuki Sato in the final. Chinen is the 2019 U21 World Champion and claimed gold at the Karate 1-Series A event in Richmond-Vancouver. In Matosinhos, the promising karateka beat his rival with scores of 43.3 to 42.5.
Neighbors of Spain celebrated the title of Indira del Mar Zuniga in Female Kumite -61kg. In her first international final, the Spaniard defeated Ashley Kakiay of the Netherlands 6-3.
The crown in Female Kumite -68kg was claimed by Thalya Sombe of France, who added the gold medal in Matosinhos to the bronze in Larnaca following a 3-0 victory over Slovakia’s Sara Krivdova.
France also won the crown in Male Kumite -75kg. Enzo Berthon used the favourite status to defeat Heorhii Pitsul of Ukraine by “Hantei” or decision 0-0.
Meanwhile, in Male Kumite -60kg, David Tkebuchava of Georgia won his first international title after defeating Martin Drabek of the Czech Republic 6-3. Hasan Arslan of Turkiye became the champion of Male Kumite -84kg following a 3-0 triumph over Adrien Marques of France.
The high-profile final of Male Kumite +84kg was won by Saleh Abazari of Iran, who upset Olympic gold medallist and teammate Sajad Ganzjadeh 6-2.
The victories of Spain and Japan in Female and Male Team Kata respectively, completed the list of gold medallists in Matosinhos.
After the tournament in Matosinhos, the season of Karate 1-Series A comes to a brilliant end. The first event of the 2024 season will be held in January in Athens (Greece)
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(Pictures: Portuguese Karate Federation)