Japan increased their gold medal tally to 10 as action concluded today at the 2017 World Karate Federation Cadet, Junior and Under-21 Championships in Tenerife.
They secured a further three victories on the last day of competition at the Sports Hall Santiago Martin.
In one of the biggest upsets of the tournament, Japan’s Yugo Kozaki beat favourite Sadriddin Saymatov of Uzbekistan to become the new world champion in the men’s under-21 kumite under-60 kilograms category.
Despite completing an outstanding season that saw him claim the Grand Winner award, the silver medal at the Asian Championships and three Karate 1-Premier League titles, Saymatov could not defeat his Japanese opponent in the final.
Kozaki signed two yukos for one point for his rival to win the global crown.
"I am so happy," he said.
"It was a very challenging final and it has been a very hard tournament, but I am glad that I could win."
Japan’s second gold medal of the day came in the men’s under-21 kumite under-67kg division with Soichiro Nakano beating Egypt’s Moamen Mohamed in a rollercoaster of a bout.
Mohamed scored a late waza-ari to take the lead in the match, but Nakano connected with a yuko in the last second to secure a surprising 2-1 win.
Risa Sugimoto secured Japan’s 10th gold medal of the competition with the promising karateka overpowering Austria’s Lora Ziller in the women’s under-21 kumite over-68kg final courtesy of three yukos.
The highest-scoring bout of the day was the men’s under-21 kumite under-84kg final, which saw Egypt’s Ahmed Elmasry beat France’s Jessie Da Costa.
Da Costa connected with two yukos and one waza-ari, but Elmasry demonstrated an impressive efficiency to score four yukos, one waza-ari and one ippon to triumph 9-4.
Among today’s other winners was Italy’s Michele Martina, who upset England’s Mitchell Thorpe to the take the men’s under-21 kumite under-75kg title.
The Under-21 European Championships silver medallist closed out the bout with one yuko, one waza-ari and one ippon.
There were also successes today for France’s Lea Avazeri in the women’s under-21 kumite under-68kg category and Turkey’s Alparslan Yamanoglu in the men’s under-21 over-84kg division.
Avazeri beat Venezuela’s Marianth Cuervo Baute by "senshu" to claim a second gold medal for her country, while Yamanoglu defeated current European champion Simone Marino of Italy by four yukos to one.
More than 1,700 competitors from 109 countries were registered to compete at the Championships, marking a record high for the event.