Home karateka 20-year-old Shara Hubrich produced one of the surprises of the last Karate 1-Premier League event of the season in the German cities of Halle and Leipzig with a shock 4-1 win over female under 50kg kumite favourite Miho Miyahara, one of Japan’s few losers on a day when they took five gold medals.
However, to the disappointment of local fans, Georgia’s 2014 world champion Gogita Arkania prevented the hosts from taking another gold as he beat Germany’s Jonathan Horne 1-0 in the over 84kg male kumite final which brought the overall event to a close.
The hosts, nevertheless, finished with a highly creditable total of six medals.
Russia’s 23-year-old karateka Evgeny Plakhutin produced another notable result as he defeated Brazil’s two-time world champion Douglas Brose 6-2 in the male under 60kg kumite class final.
Japan’s gold rush was headed by Ryo Kiyuna, world champion in the Male Kata category, who took his tenth consecutive title in international competitions with a 5-0 win over compatriot Issei Shimbaba.
The Female Kata final was also an all-Japanese affair as Emiri Iwamoto defeated Hikaru Onu 3-2.
Seven out of the eight medals available for the Kata category of choreographed movements went to Japan.
Japan’s successful day continued in the kumite – or “grappling hands” – category, where Ayumi Uekusa won her fifth gold in international competitions this year after defeating China’s Mengmeng Gao 1-0 in the under 68kg final.
The 25-year-old Uekusa is now world and Asian champion, defending gold medallist at the World Games and 2017 Grand Winner.
Hiroto Gomyo, contesting his first final, contributed another gold to the Japanese cause as he defeated Brazil’s Vinicius Figueira 5-3 in the male under 67kg kumite, and in the female under 68kg kumite class Asian champion Kayo Someya used her greater experience to defeat Miroslava Kopunova of Slovakia, earning the bout by “Senshu”.
It was a day to remember for Ukraine’s Anzhelika Terliuga, as the 25-year-old karateka not only won gold in Halle/Leipzig but was also proclaimed 2017 Grand Winner after beating Turkey’s Tuba Yakan 2-0 in the under 55kg female kumite final.
Italy’s European champion Luigi Busa came from behind to record a 3-1 win in the male under 75kg kumite final against Uzbekistan’s Dastonbek Otabolave.
Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Ngoan beat Canada’s Haya Jumaa in the female under 61kg kumite final to win gold in her second appearance in Karate 1-Premier League.
Azerbaijan’s world silver medallist Aykham Mamayev proved too strong for Russia’s Alexander Aliev in the under 84kg male kumite final, winning 6-0.