Burak Uygur of Turkey qualified for the -67kg final of the K1 Rabat (April 19-21), his first since his success in Tokyo last autumn. Japan's Naoto Sago, World silver medallist (-60 kg), and the five-time World champion Rafael Aghayev (-75 kg) will fight for the bronze medal on Sunday. The first in a remake of the world final, the 2nd against France’s Logan Da Costa.
By Ludovic Mauchien
For the last few months, his pain was hurting to see. He could not make it anymore. Since his victory in Tokyo last October, Burak Uygur was no longer successful. So he is already backed up against the wall for the Olympic qualification. But it’s precisely at those moments that we recognize great champions, at their ability to bounce when they are cornered. The two-time European champion questioned himself. « I changed some things, especially mentally », he said after his won ½ final. The consequence was fast to come.
Winner of France’s Marvin Garin in the 1st round (2-1), Japan’s Gomyo (4-2) and Egypt’s Abdelgawad (2-0), he then dictated his rule to Japan’s Shinohara in the ½ final (2-2). On Sunday, he will face Egypt’s Elsawy to win his 4th success in Karate 1.
The « King » was less enlightened. Surprised in the 1st round by Iran’s aesthete Asiabari (3-2), Rafael Aghayev had to wait for long hours before going through the entire path of the repechage. With fervor and happiness. The Azerbaijani fighter, after 3 wins, will compete for the bronze medal against France’s Logan Da Costa, the one who beat Luigi Busa in the round of 16, before losing to Asiabari in ½ final. A duel of warriors to be seen !
In -60 kg, the young Japanse Naoto Sago, silver World medallist in Madrid last November, has sprung into action again in Rabat. In the 1st round, he defeated France’s Johan Lopes (3-1) then Jordany’s Ahmad (5-3) before losing against Kazakhstan’s Assadilov (4-3). In repechages, he did not miss the boat. By beating Italy’s Pampaloni (5-0) and the former two-time World champion Douglas Brose (5-3), Naoto Sago will face Italy’s Crescenzo for the bronze medal, in a remake of the World championships’ final. This should be something !…
Final: Samdan (Tur) vs Assadilov (Kaz)
Bronze: Crescenzo (Ita) vs Sago (Jap) and Saymatov (Uzb) vs. Minami (Jap)
Final: Uygur (Tur) vs Elsawy (Egy)
Bronze: Abdelgawad (Egy) vs Shinohara (Jap) and Funahashi (Jap) vs Nakano (Jap)
Final: Horuna (Ukr) vs Asiabari (Irn)
Bronze: Nakamura (Jap) vs Nishimura (Jap) and L. Da Costa (Fra) vs Aghayev (Aze)
Final: Russia vs Turkey
Bronze: Morocco 1 vs Algeria 1 and Morocco 2 vs Algeria 2
Final: Ozcelik (Tur) vs Sayed (Egy)
Bronze: Plank (Aut) vs Ku (Tpe) and Kulinkovich (Blr) vs. Tsukii (Phi)
Final: Terliuga (Ukr) vs Wen (Tpe)
Bronze: Agung (Ina) vs Yakan Tuba (Tur) and Yamada (Jap) vs Khaksar (Irn).
Final: Shimizu (Jap) vs Sanchez Jaime (Spa)