World champion Ryo Kiyuna reached the men’s kata final on the opening day of the Asian Karate Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan.
The Japanese star eased through the opening rounds of the competition, setting up a clash against tournament surprise package Zigi Zaresta Yuda of Indonesia.
Yuda will face a tough test in the gold medal bout, with the Indonesian advancing to his maiden final in senior competition.
Indonesia could enjoy success in the women’s kata competition too, with Sisilia Ora making it through.
She will take on Japan’s Emiri Iwamoto, while her compatriot Sari Sukatendel Srunita will face Japan’s Ayaka Tadano in the 50 kilogram kumite final.
World champion Amir Mehdizadeh will be the focus of attention in the men’s 60kg kumite competition, with the Iranian star seeking to defend his Asian title.
He will take on the challenge of Uzbekistan’s youngster Sadriddin Saymatov, who at the age of 19 has already secured three golds in three Karate 1-Premier League tournaments this year.
Sajad Ganjzadeh, another world champion, will also try to hold off the challenge of a younger rival in Astana.
The Iranian will take on Tareg Hamedi of Saudi Arabia in the men's over-84kg kumite event.
Chinese Tapei’s Wei-Chun Hsu and Iran’s Bahman Asgari Ghoncheh will compete in the men’s under-75kg final.
Hsu’s compatriot Tzu-Yun Wen will take on Japan’s Fumika Ishiai in the 55kg event.
Hosts Kazakhstan will have hopes of success as Andrey Aktauov reached the men’s 55kg kumite final, where he will face Iran’s Majid Hassanniadeilami.
Kazakhstan’s Rinat Sagandykov will then take on Saudi Arabia’s Fahad Alkhathami in the 67kg division.