Karate’s Hottest Rivalry Comes To Tokyo
The Karate 1-Premier League has returned to Tokyo this weekend, as the site of the 2020 Olympics marks the fifth stop of the 2019 tour.
Beginning with the Female Kata on Friday, the budding rivalry of Spain’s Sandra Sanchez and Japan’s Kiyou Shimizu continues, as the two will square off for the fifth straight final.
“The first thing that was on my mind when I stepped into the tatami this morning was that we would be competing in the Olympic Games right here next year. I took this event as preparation ahead of the Games, and I wanted to know what I would feel next year. It was a very thrilling moment for me; hopefully, I will be able to experience it again next year and who knows? maybe I will get the same result!”, said Sandra Sanchez.
“Nippon Budokan is the ‘mecca’ of martial arts and for me, this is the first place I wanted to compete in. I am happy to be here, and as Japanese, it is my goal to show the best possible technique and to give my best athletic performance here,” declared Kiyou Shimizu of competing in her home nation.
For the Male Kumite -67kg division, Burak Uygur of Turkey marked his return to the finals as the Grand Winner narrowed out Japan’s Soichiro Nakano in the semi-finals, and will have to face another Japanese stand out in Hiroto Gomyo, who defeated Greece’s Dionysios Xenos 5-1 in the semi’s.
Initial Report: World Karate Federation