The opening day of the 2024 Karate 1 Series A in Larnaca, Cyprus, showcased intense competition as athletes battled through the elimination rounds in the first categories. Representatives from Japan demonstrated strength as they reached six final spots today.

In the Female Kata category, Sakura Alforte of the Philippines secured her spot in the final showdown against Kiri Mishima of Japan. Alforte exhibited remarkable skill, clinching victory over Maria Lopez Pintado of Spain with a score of 43.40 to 41.90. Meanwhile, Mishima displayed her prowess by defeating Kao Kitaguchi of Japan with scores of 41.80 to 40.30.

The Male Team Kata final promises an electrifying encounter between Kuwait and France 1. Kuwait triumphed over Italy with a score of 41.00 to 39.70, while France 1 emerged victorious against the Czech Republic with a narrow margin of 38.70 to 38.30.

In the Female Kumite -68kg division, Sara Terawaza of Japan advanced to the final round after a hard-fought victory against Hadir Hendy of Egypt, prevailing with a score of 4-3. Terawaza's opponent in the final is her teammate Kanna Nagai of Japan, who secured her place by defeating Janessa Fonseca of Puerto Rico with a score of 4-0, thus setting the stage for an All-Japan final.

The Female Kumite +68kg final will feature Amelia Luecke of Germany facing off against Stefani Kresic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Luecke secured her spot in the final by overcoming Fabienne Kaufmann of Switzerland with a score of 2-1, while Kresic dominated her match against Lydia Woollatt of England with a score of 5-1.

In the Male Kumite -75kg category, Keisei Sakiyama of Japan will compete against former World champion Bahman Asgari Ghoncheh of Iran in the final. Sakiyama secured his place with a narrow victory over Heorii Pitsul of Ukraine, winning by a score of 12-10, while Ghoncheh defeated Nemanja Mikulic of Montenegro with a score of 3-1.

The Male Kumite -84kg final will see Melos Gashi of Albania facing off against Ryukai Matsumoto of Japan. Gashi narrowly defeated Nikola Malovic of Montenegro with a score of 4-3, while Matsumoto secured his place in the final after a closely contested match against Luka Vasadze of Georgia, ending 2-2.

In the Male Kumite +84kg final, Merabi Gelashvili of Georgia will take on Fumiya Yoshimura of Japan. Gelashvili emerged victorious over Saleh Abazari of Iran with a score of 8-5, while Yoshimura secured his place in the final by defeating Danil Kasianov of Ukraine with a score of 2-1.

Foto: PJA Media/WKF