WKF Premier League Day 3 Results
Ryo Kiyuna and Kiyou Shimizu guided Japan to a demonstration of first-class Karate at the Karate 1-Premier League in Paris. French karatekas and Grand Winners also took the spotlight of the first event of the international season, while upcoming athletes delighted enthusiasts of the sport with surprising victories over the top favorites.
Japan continued their domination in Kata and claimed the top of the podium in both Male and Female competitions. Ryo Kiyuna gave another demonstration of kata power with his victory in the male competition. Against one of the biggest surprises of the competition – Yi-Ta Wang of Chinese Taipei – the world champion put his powerful Kata style into action and won gold by unanimous decision. It is Kiyuna’s fourteenth straight gold medal in nearly four years of outstanding Kata domination.
“I am happy that I could win. My opponent showed good spirit, as every time that I face him,” said Kiyuna. “As we get closer to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the level of all the countries in Kata is growing. I hope that I can continue my good level in the upcoming World Championships”, added the world champion.
KIYOU SHIMIZU WINS IN ALL-JAPANESE FEMALE KATA FINAL
The all-Japan final in Female Kata between world champion Kiyou Shimizu and Asian champion Emiri Iwamoto ended with a convincing 5-0 victory for the world title-holder. With her gold medal in Paris, Kiyou Shimizu extended her impressive tally of awards of 14 medals in all 14 major international competitions.
“This season is very important, with the World Championships at the end of the year, so it was a very good start for me to begin with a medal. The level of all the competitors is getting very high and I feel that I have to give my best to continue at the top,” said Kata heroine Shimizu. “We have a very intense season with a lot of important tournaments. Of course, I will try to give my very best in every competition and I hope to keep getting good experiences”, declared the 24-year-old two-time world champion.
PROMISING JAPANESE KARATEKAS ALSO TAKE GOLD
Ken Nishimura became one of the heroes of the tournament with his shocking victory over superstar Rafael Aghayev in Male Kumite -75kg. The five-time world champion and ten-time European title-holder from Azerbaijan was defeated by Japan’s promising karateka by 2-1, in a showcase of effective karate by the 22-year-old Japanese up-and-coming athlete.
Miho Miyahara also upset one of the biggest favorites of the tournament. In the thrilling final of the Female Kumite -50kg, the 2016 World Championships silver medalists from Japan defeated Karate Star and current world title-holder Alexandra Recchia of France. To the disappointment of local fans at Pierre de Coubertin, Miyahara clinched an impressive 7-4 victory to win her second consecutive gold medal in Paris.
FRENCH KARATEKAS SHINE AT HOME
French Karatekas also had the opportunity to delight the home crowd that filled up Pierre de Coubertin sports hall. The host nation took three gold medals in a demonstration of the top level of one of the powerhouse nations of international Karate.
Alizee Agier used the home-crowd factor to claim her third victory in Paris. The 2014 World champion defeated Japan’s Kayo Someya in the final of Female Kumite -68kg by a convincing 4-0, so to win her fifth consecutive medal in Karate 1 events.
STEVEN DA COSTA CONFIRMS PROMISING STAR STATUS
Steven Da Costa managed to put an end to his losing streak at home and prevailed in Male Kumite -67kg. The 21-year-old karateka, who had suffered early defeats in his three previous appearances in Paris, claimed the top of the podium this time with his tight victory over Japan’s Hiroto Shinohara. The promising French hero beat his rival by 1-0.
“I am very glad it went this way because to start the season with a medal and doing it at home is great. This victory in front of my family was fantastic for me,” said Steven Da Costa.
The list of winners for the host nation was completed with Nadege Ait-Ibrahim ‘s triumph in Female Kumite +68kg. The winner of the 2015 Karate 1-Premier League Paris beat teammate Nancy Garcia by 2-1 in an all-french title-deciding bout.
GRAND WINNERS SHOW POWER IN FINAL DAY
Grand Winner Xiaoyan Yin proved to be one of the karatekas on the best form of the moment. The Asian champion from China added the gold in Paris to her Grand Winner award after defeating French upcoming sensation Gwendoline Philippe in Female Kumite -61kg. The promising young local karateka Philippe could not complete a dream tournament and was defeated by the more experienced Xiaoyan Yin in a tight final (4-3).
Sajad Ganjzadeh of Iran was the second Grand Winner prevailing in Paris. The current world champion took his second consecutive gold in Paris and demonstrated to be one of the major forces of the sport following his 3-1 victory over France’s Mehdi Filali in Male Kumite +84kg.
GRAND WINNERS IN THIRD PLACE
The rest of the current Grand Winners managed to close the event in victorious fashion. Grand Winner Damian Quintero took the third place in Male Kata, just as fellow teammate Sandra Sanchez of Spain in Female Kata.
Grand Winner Sadriddin Saymatov of Uzbekistan took the third position in Male Kumite -60kg after beating current world champion Amir Mehdizadeh of Iran by 5-0, while Anzhelika Terliuga of Ukraine achieved a tight victory 1-0 over Karate Star Sara Cardin of Italy. Stanislav Horuna of Ukraine completed the successful day for the Grand Winners with his disputed triumph over Ebrahim Hassan Beigi of Iran by 5-3 in Male Kumite -75kg. Only Ryutaro Araga of Japan could not make it to the third place after being defeated 2-0 by Turkey’s Ugur Aktas.
Syakilla Salni Jefry Krishnan of Malaysia with his victory in Female Kumite -55kg, Darkhan Assadilov of Kazakhstan with his triumph in Male Kumite -60kg and Zabiollah Poorshab prevailing in Male Kumite -84kg completed the list of winners of the thrilling first event of the Karate 1-Premier League season.