KARATE – Paris Premier League / Uekusa strikes again
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KARATE - Paris Premier League / Uekusa strikes again

Ayumi Uekusa won on Sunday her 25th medal in 27 competitions since 2012 ! At 26 years old, the Japanese champion won her 11th Karate 1 but her first in Paris, hence her immense joy in the wake of her success against France’s Nancy Garcia in the final (7-3). Double silver medalist at the Madrid Worlds (individual and team), Ayumi Uekusa wanted to set the record straight. It’s done ! Her opponents just have to stand right.

She is not the only one to have conjured the Madrid’s bad luck. Several « unfortunate » of the World whampionships were pleased to show that they were in good shape to attack the long straight line leading to the Tokyo Olympics. Thus, in the remakes of Worlds’ finals, Ozcelik took revenge on Miyahara (-50 kg) and Shimizu on Sanchez Jaime (kata).

In fact, only Steven Da Costa (-67 kg) and Ryo Kiyuna (kata) continued the momentum of their victory in Madrid. They are the only two World champions to have won at the Paris Open (January 25-27). On the other hand, many of the favorites for the world title last November, who missed out on, showed to their opponent that it was an accident. This is the case for Ukraine’s Terliuga (-55 kg), who dominated the World champion in the final, Poland’s Banaszczyk, Japan’s Nishimura (-75 kg), the Swiss European champion Quirici (-68 kg) and France’s Gwendoline Philippe (-61 kg).

The latter, beaten in the first round in Madrid, conjured the fate by taking her revenge on the two-times world champion (2014, 2016), Egypt’s Lotfy in the final. Like her teammates from France, the young champion was in shape in Paris. Thus, the French fighters won 5 medals in all, including the two golds of Da Costa and Philippe, the silver medal of Nancy Garcia and the bronze ones of Mehdi Filali (+84 kg) and Laura Sivert (-61 kg). Only Japan does better (12 medals, kumite and kata).

Let’s notice the beautiful bronze medal of the young German Johanna Kneer (-68 kg), who lost in the 3rd round against the future winner, Elena Quirici, but brilliantly handled her fights in repechage.

Last but not least, King Rafael Aghayev struck again. Not as he would have liked since he was beaten in the final, like last year, by Ken Nishimura and, as usual when he loses, he was rather in a grumbling mood. Yet, many would have liked to be in his place. But the five-time world champion only swears by victory.




  1. Hassaniaideilami (Ira)
  2. Crescenzo (Ita)
  3. Assadilov (Kaz) and Plakhutin (Rus)



  1. Steven Da Costa (Fra)
  2. Maresca (Ita)
  3. Amirali (Kaz) and Muratov (Kaz)



  1. Nishimura (Jap)
  2. Aghayev (Aze)
  3. Horuna (Ukr) and Asiabari (Ira)



  1. Anton (Blr)
  2. Ghararizadeh (Ira)
  3. Shimada (Jap) and Ahmed Ramadan (Egy)



  1. Arkania (Geo)
  2. Arbazari (Ira)
  3. Ganjzadeh (Ira) and Filali (Fra)



  1. Kiyuna (Jap)
  2. Quintero (Spa)
  3. Moto (Jap) and Shimbaba (Jap)


Team Kata

  1. Koweit
  2. Spain
  3. Turkey and Morocco




  1. Ozcelik (Tur)
  2. Miyahara (Jap)
  3. De Paula (Bra) and Hubrich (Ger)



  1. Terliuga (Ukr)
  2. Banaszczyk (Pol)
  3. Busa (Ita) and Nakamura (Jap)



  1. Philippe (Fra)
  2. Lotfy (Egy)
  3. Sivert (Fra) and Coban (Tur)



  1. Quirici (Swi)
  2. Someya (Jap)
  3. Ramos (Mex) and Kneer (Ger)



  1. Uekusa (Jap)
  2. Garcia (Fra)
  3. Okila (Egy) and Saito (Jap)



  1. Shimizu (Jap)
  2. Sanchez (Spa)
  3. Ono (Jap) and Bottaro (Ita)


Team Kata

  1. Russia
  2. Iran
  3. Italy and Morocco
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