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Who will be European Karates future stars?


Europe’s most talented young Karatekas will compete for gold at the upcoming and anticipated 2017 EKF Karate Junior, Cadet & U21 Championships. The city of Sofia (Bulgaria) will host the future stars of European Karate in three action-packed days set to demonstrate the remarkable progress of young athletes in the continent.

The EKF Karate Junior, Cadet & U21 Championships to be held from February 17 to 19 represent the springboard for many promising Karatekas who dazzle in underage continental competitions before becoming the leading names of the sport.

That was the case of Karate heroes such as Rafael Aghayev, who won three consecutive gold medals in European Karate Cadets & Juniors Championships (2002, 2003 and 2005) before becoming one of Karate’s biggest icons. Karate Stars Alexandra Recchia, Sara Cardin and Damian Quintero among others also showcased their abilities and won gold at continental underage events before reaching glory in the sport.

New names to watch

With less than a week to the anticipated event, over 1100 competitors from 50 countries are getting ready to shine in Sofia. Among the large number of stars in the making to participate, some promising karatekas aim at taking the spotlight at Arena Armec in Sofia.

Defending Junior World champion Li Lirisman of Estonia hopes to repeat the success she achieved at the major international event held in Indonesia in 2015, so to earn her second gold medal in EKF Junior, Cadet and U21 Championships after her victory in 2015.

France’s Gwendoline Philippe will try to extend her domination in Junior Kumite Female -59 kg following her triumphs in both the 2015 World Junior, Cadet and U21 Championships and the 2016 European Junior, Cadet and U21 Championships.

In men’s competition, one of the biggest names to watch is Eray Samdan of Turkey. The 2015 World Junior, Cadet and U21 champion in U21 Kumite Male -60 kg has demonstrated his impressive progression with an outstanding run of four consecutive gold medals in EKF Junior, Cadet and U21 Championships, after shinning in the 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 editions of the tournament. In addition to these remarkable achievements, the 19-year old Turkish Karate hero confirmed his status as rising star of the sport with a surprising bronze medal in the big stage of international Karate that is the Karate 1-Premier League in Paris less than one month ago.

Hungary’s Gabor Harspataki also acts as defending World champion and hopes to sign his second gold in the U21 Kumite Male -75 kg category of the EKF Junior, Cadet and U21 Championships. At only 20 years, the Hungarian karateka has already reached the podium in first-class international competitions, since the current EKF Junior, Cadet and U21 Championships bronze medallist has won one gold, two silver and one bronze medals in Karate 1-Premier League events.

Click here for more information on the 2017 EKF Junior, Cadet and U21 Championships.

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