Spain’s Sanchez Leads New WKF Champs

One of Spain’s own led the way in those who took home gold during the first two medal sessions of the 2018 WKF Karate World Championship, held on the fifth day of competition in Madrid, Spain.

Sandra Sanchez took home a title for the host country in Female Kata by defeating Kiyou Shimizu of Japan, one of the best in Female Kata and who had won the title for four consecutive tournaments. Sanchez has had previous losses to Shimizu in the past, but she was able to edge out the former champion 3-2 in a session where both performed Chantanyara Kushanku kata.

Japan was able to earn revenge and the Male Kata championship, however, thanks to the performance of Japanese kata king Ryo Kiyuna. Kiyuna defeated Spain’s Damian Quintero via unanimous decision (5-0) in a rematch of the final from the 2016 World Championships.

France, meanwhile, was able to take home two gold medals on this day. In the -67kg Male Kumite competition, 21-year-old Steven Dacosta bested Vinicius Figuera of Brazil 6-5 thanks to a late ippon. The French also took home the win in Team Female Kumite, as the squad — consisting of Lea Avazeri, Leila Heurtault, Andrea Brito and Laura Sivert — defeated Japan 2-0 to claim the country’s fourth world title in Team Female Kumite in five championships.

The biggest upset of the day, however, may have come in +68kg Female Kumite from Greece’s Eleni Chatziliadou, a two-time world championships medalist, who defeated defending champion Ayumi Uekusa of Japan. This was another rematch from the 2016 Championships, and this time Chatziliadou was able to overpower her opposition and work towards a 3-0 win.

The gold medal in +84kg Male Kumite went to Jonathan Horne of Germany, who defeated Sajad Ganjzadeh of Iran 5-2 after falling behind on the scoreboard early on.

Elsewhere, Irina Zaretska of Azerbaijan scored the win in -68kg Female Kumite with a 1-1 win over Victoria Isaeva of Russia that was decided by the first-awarded-point tiebreaker. Ivan Kvesic of Croatia became bested Ukraine’s Valeri Chobotar by decision after a 0-0 bout in the -84kg Male Kumite finals.

Former European Champion Jovana Prekovic of Serbia pulled off a major upset herself, defeating rankings leader Xiaoyan Yin of China in -61kg Female Kumite.

Bahman Asgari Ghoncheh of Iran defeated Luigi Busa of Italy 1-0 in the finals of -75kg Male Kumite. Dorota Banaszczyk of Poland beat Germany’s Jana Bitsch 2-0 in -55kg Female Kumite, and Angelo Crescenzo of Italy defeated beat Naoto Sago of Japan in -60kg Male Kumite.

In the para-karate competition, awards were given to Salma Alaaeldin Ebrahim of Egypt, Antonio Gutiérrez Rebato of Spain, Germany’s Helga Balkie and Japan’s Yasushi Oba.

Initial Report and photos Via: WKF

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