February 18, 2019 - DUBAI, UAE –Spain’s Sandra Sanchez – the reigning World and European women’s kata champion – continued her love affair with Dubai, winning her fourth consecutive gold at the Karate 1-Premier League Dubai, the second leg of world karate’s seven-stop series of premier international events.
Considered one of the greatest karatekas ever in the kata class, the defending Grand Winner defeated Japan’s Kiyou Shimizu in the final to extend her gold medal count.
Organised by the UAE Karate Federation under the auspices of the World Karate Federation, the three-day Karate 1-Premier League Dubai at Al Wasl Club attracted 670 karatekas – 339 men and 331 women – from 83 countries, including many World Champions and Grand Winners.
His Excellency Saeed Hareb, the Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council, attended the closing ceremony of the event on Sunday and presented their winners with their medals alongside Major General Nasser Abdul Razzaq Al Razooqi, President of the UAE Karate Federation and Vice President of the World Karate Federation.
“I am very happy because this gold medal gives me confidence after winning the title in the World Championships in Spain at home. It also gives me hope to continue working this hard,” Sanchez, who excelled in her performance of “Chatanyara Kushanku” kata in the final, told the KWF website.
“I told Kiyou (Shimizu) that it is better this way: each one of us can alternate the victories in the events (as Shimizu won gold in Paris, the first Karate 1-Premier League of 2019) so we can continue making the competition interesting.”
RYO KIYUNA AND SERAP OZCELIK ALSO SHINE AS GRAND WINNERS
Ryo Kiyuna of Japan took his second consecutive gold medal in this competition after defeating Spain’s Damian Quintero in the final of Male Kata. With this victory, the current World champion avenged the defeat he suffered against Quintero in the event in Dubai last year.
It was the first of the two gold medals that Japan won on Sunday since Hideyoshi Kagawa earned the crown in Male Kumite +84kg. The promising Japanese karateka defeated France’s Mehdi Filali by 5-2 in the final.
Meanwhile, Serap Ozcelik of Turkey demonstrated why she is considered one of the finest competitors of the sport when she defeated Ukraine’s Kateryna Kryva 7-1 in the final of the women’s kumite -50kg. Ozcelik, who had also won in Paris, started the bout down in the scoreboard after receiving a “Yuko” but she came back and scored seven points to take her eighth medal in Karate 1-Premier League.
“I am happy because it is my second consecutive medal here in Dubai and the second gold this year. But I want more,” said the Grand Winner. “After receiving the punch (of the Yuko in the face), I think I came back because I started my recovery towards the title.”
NEW GOLDS FOR STEVEN DACOSTA AND GWENDOLINE PHILIPPE
France’s new stars – Steven Dacosta and Gwendoline Philippe – performed at an outstanding level in Dubai and took their second gold medal this year. The two young karatekas proved to be the main rising forces in international Karate with new victories and a sensational demonstration of efficiency on the tatamis.
The 21-year-old Dacosta won his third consecutive gold in international competitions with his victory in Male Kumite -67kg. The karateka, nicknamed “Le Petit Prince”, edged Kazakhstan’s Didar Amirali in a tight bout that ended with triumph for the current World champion by “Senshuu” or first unopposed point after the match ended tied 3-3.
Grand Winner Gwendoline Philippe won the title in Female Kumite -61kg. The 22-year-old karateka defeated two-time World champion Giana Lotfy of Egypt by “Hansei” or decision after the final bout ended with a tie 0-0.
France completed a remarkable tournament with a third gold medal which was achieved by Anne Laure Florentin in Female Kumite +68kg. In a thrilling final, the current European champion defeated Clio Ferracuti of Italy by 5-2.
GRAND WINNER UGUR AKTAS TRIUMPHS AGAIN
Wrapping up the count of Grand Winners reaching the top of the podium in Dubai, Turkey’s Ugur Aktas went back to winning ways with his title in Male Kumite -84kg. The Turkish Grand Winner took a slim 2-1 triumph in the final over Iran’s Ali Fadakar. It is the first crown for 23-year-old Aktas this year who last season claimed two gold medals in Karate 1-Premier League.
“After Paris, I wanted to take a medal here so badly. It was very important for me to win here because I want to win as many medals as possible this year. I have my mind set on all the Karate 1-Premier League and the European Championships. This year is very important for the Olympic qualification and I will fight with all my heart to achieve my goals,” said the Turkish Grand Winner.
NEW NAMES TAKE SPOTLIGHT IN DUBAI
Kazakhstan’s Darkhan Assadilov beat Japan’s Yunosuke Minami in Male Kumite -60kg by 4-0, while Tzu-Yun Wen of Chinese Taipei defeated Ukraine’s Anzhelika Terliuga by 4-3 in Female Kumite -55kg.
One of the sensations of the tournament, Feryal Abdelaziz of Egypt won her first gold medal in Karate 1-Premier League after prevailing in Female Kumite -68kg. The Egyptian karateka who had surprised throughout the tournament upset Irina Zaretska of Azerbaijan by 2-1.
The powerhouse nation of the sport, Iran also took home top honours today as Bahman Asgari Ghoncheh prevailed in Male Kumite -75kg. The current World champion won his first gold this year after upsetting Italy’s Luigi Busa by 2-0.
The teams of Turkey and Italy completed the list of gold medallists with their crowns in Male and Female Team Kata respectively.
Female Kata: 1-Sandra Sanchez (Spain); 2-Kiyou Shimizu (Japan); 3-Emiri Iwamoto (Japan); 3-Viviana Bottaro (Italy).
Female Kumite (-50kg): 1- Serap Ozcelik (Turkey); 2-Kateryna Kryva (Ukraine); 3-Sophia Bouderbane (France); 3-Reem Ahmed (Egypt).
Female Kumite (-55kg): 1-Tzu-Yun Wen (Chinese Taipei); 2-Anzhelika Terliuga (Ukraine); 3-Valeria Kumizaki (Brazil); 3-Fatemeh Chalaki (Iran).
Female Kumite (-61kg): 1-Gwendoline Philippe (France); 2Giana Lotfy (Egypt); 3-Rozita Alipourkeshka (Iran); 3-Haya Jumaa (Canada).
Female Kumite (-68kg): 1-Feryal Abdelaziz (Egypt); 2-Irina Zaretska (Azerbaijan); 3-Marina Rakovic (Montenegro); 3-Alizee Agier (France).
Female Kumite (68+kg): 1-Anne Laure Florentin (France); 2-Clio Ferracuti (Italy); 3-Shaaban Okila (Egypt); 3-AmeliaHarvey (England).
Female Team Kata: 1-Italy (Noemi Nicosanti; Carola Casale; Michela Pezzetti); 2-Iran (Maedeh Nasiripey; Mahsa Afsaneh; Parisa Rahmani); 3-Australia (Mishela Dimoska; Marijana Dimoska; Kiriana Kamcheska); 3-Russia (Polina Kotlyarova; Irina Troitskaya; Mariia Zotova).
Male Kata: 1-Ryo Kiyuna (Japan); 2- Damian Quintero (Spain); 3-Issei Shimbaba (Japan); 3-Mattia Busato (Italy).
Male Kumite (-60kg): 1-Darkhan Assadilov (Kazakhstan); 2-Yunosuke Minami (Japan); 3-Kaisar Alpysbay (Kazakhstan); 3-Eray Samdan (Turkey).
Male Kumite (-67kg): 1-Steven Dacosta (France); 2-Didar Amirali (Kazakhstan); 3-Amir Mirzaei (Iran); 3-Hamoon Derafshipour (Iran).
Male Kumite (-75kg): 1-Bahman Asgari (Iran); 2-Luigi Busa (Italy); 3-Thomas Scott (USA); 3-Rafael Aghayev (Azerbaijan).
Male Kumite (-84kg): 1-Ugur Aktas (Turkey); 2-Ali Fadakar (Iran): 3-Farouk Abdesselem (France); 3-Zabihollah Poorshab (Iran).
Male Kumite (84+kg): 1-Hideyoshi Kagawa (Japan); 2-Mehdi Filali (France); 3-Sajad Ganjzadeh (Iran); 3-Hocine Daikhi (Algeria).
Male Team Kata: 1-Turkey (Emre Vefa Goktas; Ali Sofuoglu; Kutluhan Duran); 2-Kuwait (Mohammed Hussain; Mohammed Al Mosawi; Salman Al Mosawi); 3-Spain (Jose Manuel Carbonell; Francisco Jose Salazar; Sergio Lopez Galan); 3-Iran (Ali Zand; Abolfazl Shahrjerdi; Milad Delikhoun).