Four Countries Fight for Team Kumite Titles

Four of the most dominating nations in karate took the spotlight of the fourth day of the Karate World Championships in Madrid, Spain, claiming spots in the men’s and women’s Team Kumite finals.

Iran looks for its third consecutive title on the men’s side of things when it faces Turkey, while France will look to keep ahold of its reign on the women’s side when it takes on Japan.

After taking titles in 2014 and 2016, Iran advances to its third men’s Team Kumite final in a row. Headed by current World title-holder Sajad Ganjzadeh, Iran won one pool matchup 3-0 and two by scores of 3-1 before defeating Italy 3-0 in the semifinals. Meanwhile, led by Grand Winners Ugur Aktas and Burak Uygur, Turkey won all four of its pool match-ups before defeating Azerbaijan to punch its ticket to the gold-medal matchup.

France will be competing in its fifth consecutive final and looks for its fourth Women’s Team Kumite gold in that span of time. After three dominating victories in pool competition, France defeated Egypt 2-1 in the semis to seal its place in the final. Japan, on the other hand, competes in its first Women’s Team Kumite final since 2006 — when they took home the gold. Led by Ayumi Uekusa – a world champion, grand winner and 2018 World Championships finalist — the team earned four pool wins before upsetting host nation Spain 2-0 in the semifinals.

Both gold medals will be competed for on Sunday, Nov. 11, the final day of the Karate World Championships.

Initial Report and photos Via: WKF

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