The Karate 1-Premier League will make its debut in Shanghai from tomorrow, a year after the Chinese city’s successful staging of its first major World Karate Federation (WKF) event in the form of a Karate 1-Series A contest.
Shanghai’s hosting of the fourth event in the WKF’s flagship series, with action taking place at the Gymnasium of the University of Finance and Economics from tomorrow until Sunday, June 9, reflects the growing popularity of the sport in China.
No fewer than 543 athletes from 76 countries have confirmed their participation, including all 12 reigning world champions and all Grand Winners.
“This event will be a great opportunity for our friends from all over the world to see first-hand the development of our nation, our progress and our culture,” said China’s top-ranked karateka, Xiaoyan Yin.
Last year’s event in Shanghai involved more than 1,100 competitors from 80 countries and no fewer than 25 nations took home medals from an effective celebration of the global impact of the sport.
Now China is entrusted with hosting one of the tournaments where karatekas can take steps towards achieving qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Games, where the sport will make its Olympic debut.
Chinese karatekas, meanwhile, will be seeking to emulate the home success achieved last year when four medals were won.
Li Gong won gold in female kumite under-68 kilograms, silver medals were taken by Mengmeng Gao in female kumite over-68kg and by the Chinese female kata team and a bronze medal was claimed by Xiaoyan Yin in female kumite under-61kg.
“Karate in China has made great achievements over the past 10 years,” added Yin, who will be seeking another medal in Shanghai.
“Whether it is at professional level or in popular public activities, these achievements have helped to spread the sport in the country and they have been acknowledged by the WKF.
“Our intention has been to host events and to continue contributing to the development of karate worldwide.”
The finals of the 2019 Karate 1-Premier League Shanghai are scheduled for Sunday, June 9.
All the medal bouts will be streamed LIVE on Karateworld.tv