07 June Thursday

Istanbul Ready to Host Anticipated Karate 1-Premıer League Event…

The best karatekas in the world are now in Turkey to participate in the 2018 Karate 1-Premier League Istanbul. The fifth event of the season of Karate’ biggest international competition is gathering the elite of the ancient modality in their quest to lead the sport as Karate is ready to start the qualification process to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

The Karate 1-Premier League Istanbul starts on Friday at the Asli Cakir Sports hall. The competition is set to begin at 09.00 (local time) with the Kata categories and the first day of action will finish at 19.45 (local time). The tournament will resume on Saturday with the rest of Kumite categories (from 09.00 to 19.45) and the bronze medal and final bouts are scheduled for Sunday, from 10.00 to 14.00. 

The leadership in most of the categories is at stake since the 2018 Karate 1-Premier League is being marked by surprising results and fierce rivalries. In Female Kata Grand Winner Sandra Sanchez will try to take advantage of second-placed Mo Sheung Grace Lau’s absence in Istanbul while world champion Kiyou Shimizu of Japan returns to action after missing the events in Rotterdam and Rabat. 

All Eyes on Serap Özçelik

Meanwhile, the attention of local fans will be posed in the competition in Female Kumite -50kg since local star and current Grand Winner Serap Ozcelik will try to extend her lead in the category with Japan’s Miho Miyahara and Ayaka Tadano following in the standings. 

With five competitors separated by only 150 points, the competence in Female Kumite -55kg will continue to thrill. Chinese Taipei’s Tzu-Yun Wen leads the standings but Malaysia’a Syakilla Salni Jefry Krishnan, Grand Winner Anzhelika Terliuga of Ukraine and Italy’s Sara Cardin will try to take the first place in the quest to dominate the category. 

The top two competitors in Female Kumite -61kg including Grand Winner Xiaoyan Yin will be absent in Turkey; France’s Leila Heurtault, USA’s Joane Orbon and Ukraine’s Anita Serogina are the top-placed athletes clashing for gold in Istanbul as the leadership of the category appears up for grabs. Miroslava Kopunova of Slovakia and Ukraine’s Halyna Melnyk are among the karatekas hoping to take the top position in Female Kumite -68kg while Grand Winner Ayumi Uekusa hopes to extend her impressive tally of two golds this year in Female Kumite +68kg.

Turkish Karatekas Hoping to Leave Their Mark at Home

The Karate 1-Premier League standings in Male Kata, Male Kumite -60kg, Male Kumite -67kg are also headed by local karatekas. Turkey’s talent Ali Sofuoglu is the leader of Male Kata, while Grand Winner Damian Quintero of Spain, at only 30 points Chinese Taipei’s Yi-Ta Wang and world champion Ryo Kiyuna of Japan returning to action after being absent in Rotterdam and Rabat also appear as front-runners in the category of choreographed movements.

In Male Kumite -60kg Turkey’s Eray Samdan tops the standings and he has been one of the most dazzling competitors this year with two golds. Grand Winner and second-placed athlete Sadriddin Saymatov of Uzbekistan is also opting for the leadership of the category. Burak Uygur in Male Kumite -67kg will try to take the Turkish flag to the top of the podium while continue topping the standings. 

Superstar Rafael Aghayev maintains a comfortable lead in Male Kumite -75kg after taking medals in all four previous events. Japan’s Ken Nishimura and Grand Winner Stanislav Horuna of Ukraine will try to upset the top favourite in the category. 

With three medals in three appearances this year, Egypt’s Ahmed Elmasry hopes to continue shining at the Karate 1-Premier League this year in Male Kumite -84kg. The Male Kumite +84kg category also appears up for grabs with the absence of the top three competitors but with Grand Winner Sajad Ganjzadeh of Iran returning to action. 

While the qualification period to determine the athletes to participate in Karate’s Olympic debut in Tokyo 2020 is set to begin in about one month, the top karatekas in the world are ready to fight for the medals in the last Karate 1-Premier League event before the summer break. The 2018 Karate 1-Premier League has already celebrated successful events in Paris, Rotterdam, Dubai and Rabat and now the first-class series of international Karate competition travels to Istanbul (Turkey) for a tournament with much to decide. 

The final day of action of the Karate 1-Premier League Istanbul will be broadcast to a worldwide viewing audience on many TV Networks around the world and on KARATEWORLD.TV.




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