Spain ensured they will be represented in three of the four kata finals after a successful opening day for the country at the season-ending World Karate Federation (WKF) Karate 1-Series A event in Shanghai.
Damián Quintero and Sandra Sánchez came through the eliminations and semi-finals in the men’s and women’s individual events respectively, while Spain’s women’s team also progressed to the gold medal matches at the Gymnasium of Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.
Quintero beat Japan’s Issei Shimbaba 4-1 in his semi-final to earn a meeting with Indonesia’s Ahmad Zigi Zaresta Yuda, a 3-2 winner at the expense of Japan’s Chikashi Hayashida.
World champion Sánchez Jaime’s reward for a 5-0 semi-final win over Japan’s Emiri Iwamoto is a clash with Italy’s Viviana Bottaro, who defeated France’s Sandy Scordo by the same scoreline.
In the penultimate round of the women’s team event, Spain edged Australia 3-2.
Awaiting them in the final are host nation China’s second team after they overcame Slovakia by the same scoreline.
Spain were knocked out in the second round of the men’s team kata, an event in which Japan’s team from Yamanashi Gakuin University will go up against Kuwait in the final.
Japan also have a shot at the title in the women’s kumite under-55 kilograms competition with Fumika Ishiai advancing to the final to set-up an encounter with Ukraine’s Anzhelika Terliuga.
The two other gold medal matches decided today pit Turkey’s Gulsen Demirturk against Austria’s Bettina Plank in the women’s under-50kg category and Brazil’s Vinicius Figueira against Egypt’s Aly Ismail in the men’s under-67kg division.
All finals are scheduled to take place on Sunday (December 9).
Action in Shanghai is due to continue tomorrow with eliminations and semi-finals in the men's kumite under-60kg, under-75kg, under-84kg and over-84kg categories, and the women's kumite under-61kg, under-68kg and over-68kg divisions.
The event is the last opportunity for karatekas on the circuit to improve their WKF ranking.