Germany’s world champion in male kumite over-84 kilograms, Jonathan Horne, was beaten 5-0 on day two of the season-opening Karate 1-Premier League event in Paris as Georgia’s Gogita Arkania earned a shock progression to tomorrow’s finals.
There was good news for home fans at the Stadium Pierre de Coubertin as Dnylson Jacquet earned the right to meet Arkania as he registered a 1-0 win over Saleh Abazari of Iran.
The top female kumite weight, over-68kg, also provided a shock as Grand Winner Ayumi Uekusa of Japan lost her semi-final against Turkey’s Meltem Hocaoğlu Akyol 5-1, with the other semi-final seeing Iran’s Hamideh Abbasali defeating Aleksandra Stubleva of Bulgaria 3-0.
But if Uekusa faltered, her fellow Grand Winners Xiaoyan Yin, Ryo Kiyuna and Irina Zaretska all performed as expected.
China’s Xiaoyan was the first Grand Winner to reach tomorrow’s finals as she won her female kumite under-61kg bout former Grand Winner and local favourite Gwendoline Philippe of France 5-1 in their semi-final.
The Chinese karateka is now scheduled to meet Merve Çoban of Turkey in the final.
The European champion qualified for her first final of Karate 1-Premier League since her victory at Istanbul in 2018 following a 5-0 triumph in her semi-final against Barno Mirzaeva of Uzbekistan.
Azerbaijan’s Irina Zaretska was the second Grand Winner prevailing today in Paris.
The current owner of the golden karategi qualified for the title-deciding bout in female kumite under-68kg after beating Kayo Someya of Japan 5-0.
She is now set to meet one of the most promising athletes of the division, Feryal Abdelaziz of Egypt.
The current world under -21 champion beat Melissa Bratic of Canada 2-0 in their semi-final.
"I worked hard and I did all my best to get this result," Zaretska said.
"I am happy to be in the final and tomorrow I will give all that I have to win."
Japan’s Ryutaro Araga,who reached three finals during last year’s Karate 1-Premier League, started the season on great form as he beat current Grand Winner Uğur Aktaş of Turkey 5-3in the semi-finals of the men’s under-84kg category.
Ahmed Mohamed Ramadan of Egypt will try to prevent Aktaş' victory.
It is the first final in international competitions for the young Egyptian athlete who has only two appearances in Karate 1-Premier League under his belt.
Ramadan defeated world champion Ivan Kvesić of Croatia 2-0 in their semi-final.
Meanwhile, the two leading talents in male kata- Japan’s world champion Ryo Kiyuna and Spain’s European champion and world silver medallist Damian Quintero - underlined their demonstration of the category as they reached tomorrow’s final.