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World champion Ryo Kiyuna faces big challenges in Karate 1-Premier League in Paris

2017-01-26

Will the champion be able to extend his impressive winning streak? or Will the Kata king be dethroned?

As the historic 2017 edition of the Karate 1-Premier League in Paris gets underway in Pierre de Coubertin sports hall, Karate fans around the world set their eyes in one of the leading names of the tournament and top favourite in the French city, Ryo Kiyuna. 

The defending Kata king faces his biggest challenge of the season in the inaugural event of the year. Barely three months after being proclaimed World champion for the second consecutive time, the question among fans is whether the Japanese Kata master will manage to extend his domination in the category. 

“I am really looking forward to participating in my first Karate tournament of 2017. My expectations are very high ahead of this competition since I think I was able to improve my Kata performance since the last World Championships in Linz,” declared the defending champion. 

At only 24, Kiyuna gave Japanese Karate plenty of reasons to celebrate when in 2014 he recovered the world crown of the traditional category of choreographed patterns of movements for the birth nation of the sport. After being in the hands of Venezuelan star Antonio Diaz in the 2010 and 2012 editions of the World Championships, and previously in possession of legend Luca Valdesi of Italy in the editions of 2008, 2006 and 2004, Ryo Kiyuna put an end to a 12 years of title drought for Japan in Individual Male Kata competition in World Championships.

Two years later of his first World crown, the Japanese karateka repeated success in the 2016 World Championships when he beat Spain’s Damian Quintero in the Final in Linz. 

This weekend, in the first big event after the memorable World Championships, Ryo Kiyuna aims at earning his sixth consecutive gold medal in Karate 1-Premier League competitions. The Kata hero hopes to maintain the unbeaten track in Karate 1-Premier League that he has been holding since 2012, and he will try to do so while keeping his trademark concentration.

“I just want to go bout by bout. I keep my focus in every single match, and my main goal is to perform at my highest level in every single match, as I always try to do,” declared Kiyuna.  

Last year the current World champion in Kata participated for the first time in the flagship event of international Karate in Paris, and claimed gold after beating fellow Japanese Issei Shimbaba in the final. This time, the Japanese fan favourite hopes to earn his eight medal in eight appearances in Karate 1-Premier League tournaments. 

While the anticipated clashes for the medals happen on Sunday, fans attending live the Karate 1-Premier League in Paris or following the event in the new Karate 1-Premier League Channel will enjoy the purity and excellence of the defending World champion. 

Click here for all the information on the Karate 1-Premier League in Paris. 

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