By Tom Degun at the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy

Francis DidierNovember 26 - French Karate Federation President Francis Didier (pictured left) believes that the sport has impressed the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in their bid to join the 2020 Olympic programme following the conclusion of the 2012 World Championships here.

The World Karate Championships, which are the sport's showpiece event, drew to a close yesterday after five days of action while the competition took on added importance due to the fact that it is served as the IOC Evaluation event for the sport's bid to appear at the 2020 Olympic Games.

IOC Olympic Programme Commission member Mike Fennell and project officer at the IOC director general's office Pierre Fratter-Bardy were the IOC inspection team in attendance in Pairs to access karate's Olympic credentials and Didier, who headed the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the Championships, feels the pair left the French capital very satisfied.

"I am very proud that we were able to stage such a spectacular event at the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy," Didier told insidethegames.

"It was great to see sold out crowds and so much enthusiasm for the event.

"I think that Mr Fennell and Mr Fratter-Bardy were very impressed by what they saw here and they will take that information back to the IOC.

"This was a vital event for karate with our bid to join the Olympics and I think we can be confident after what happened here."

Didier added that he has taken particular pride in the fact that World Karate Federation (WKF) President Antonio Espinós (pictured top right) described the Championships as the "best ever" following the conclusion of the competition.

karate 5 French Karate Federation President Francis Didier believes the 2012 World Championships in Paris have impressed the IOC

"For President Espinós to call this competition the best in history is a great honour for me and also for my team who have worked so hard to stage these Championships," he said.

"Our President has been leading from the front and he has done so many great things for karate.

"He is at the front in our bid to join the Olympics and we are all behind him.

"So for him to describe this event as the best ever feels me with joy."

The final day of the event saw France claim both the male and female Team Kumite world titles while Japan took both the male and female Team Kata world crowns.

Karate is one of seven bidding to make the 2020 Olympic programme alongside climbing, roller sport, squash, wakeboard, wushu and baseball and softball, who are making a joint bid.

The IOC will review all the bids next month following the conclusion of all the Evaluation events before making a final decision on which sport to include at the 2020 Olympics at their Session in Buenos Aires in September 2013.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

elated stories
November 2012: Tom Degun - Karate puts best foot forward in race for the 2020 Olympics
November 2012: World Karate Championships "the best ever" declares WKF President
November 2012: IOC inspection team arrives at World Karate Championships
November 2012: World Karate Championships finals sell out
November 2012: Impressive start at 2012 World Karate Championships in Paris