Venezuela's Antonio Diaz will go for his 17th gold at the Pan American Karate Championships ©Getty Images

The Arena Roberto Duran Sports Hall in Panama will host the action when the World Karate Federation Pan American Championships begin tomorrow.

Venezuela’s two-time world champion Antonio Diaz headlines the entry list and will compete for gold in the men’s kata.

The 38-year-old has scooped 16 gold medals at the championships, including the kata title, which he has won every year since 2008.

He will attempt to earn his 22nd continental medal after he won every bout last time out by unanimous decision.

The women’s kata will also provide a highlight as one of Maria Dimitrova from the Dominican Republic and Sakura Kukomai from the United States have won each of the past seven editions.

Kukomai will go for her fifth consecutive title this year having beaten Dimitrova in each of the past four finals.

Maria Dimitrova has lost the past four women's kata finals ©WKF
Maria Dimitrova has lost the past four women's kata finals ©WKF

In the kumite events, Valeria Kumizaki from Brazil will hope to defend her title in the women’s under-55 kilogram division.

She has won gold at the past two Pan American Championships.

Another Brazilian, Vinicius Figueira, will be out to defend his title in the men’s under 67kg division.

He is the current World Championship silver medallist, while in the men’s under 75kg event, American Thomas Scott will go for his sixth consecutive gold.

United States topped the medals table last time with nine, including four golds.

Following several days of technical meetings and practice sessions, the competition proper will begin tomorrow.