The opening Karate 1-Premier League event of the season in Paris provided a concluding day of drama and surprise ©WKF

Serap Özçelik Arapoğlu, beaten by Japan's Miho Miyahara in the women's under-50 kilograms division at the last World Federation Championships in 2018, earned revenge in Paris tonight  as she her 10-4 in the final of the season-opening Karate 1-Premier League event.

After her stirring victory at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin, the current Grand Winner said: "I am very happy with this victory because my opponent is very strong.

"I was not thinking about anything in particular during the bout, I just wanted to fight and I did it."

Özçelik’s was one of the stand-out performances of a final session that saw other highlights from established karateka, including Spain's Sandra Sanchez, Japan's Ryo Kiyuna and home hope Steven Da Costa.

But the surprise of the day was provided by a younger karateka, Russia’s European junior champion Anna Chernysheva, who shocked favourite and current Grand Winner Anzhelika Terliga of Ukraine in the final of women’s kumite under-55kg.

Chernysheva won 8-0 with two minutes to spare.

Sanchez,, current Grand Winner and world champion, underlined her supremacy in female kata as she defeated surprise finalist Viviana Bottaro, scoring 28.4 to the Italian’s 27.0 for her 14th Karate 1-Premier League win and her first in the French capital.

Japan's world champion Ryo Kiyuna maintained his domination of male kata at the opening Karate 1-Premier League event of the WKF season ©WKF
Japan's world champion Ryo Kiyuna maintained his domination of male kata at the opening Karate 1-Premier League event of the WKF season ©WKF

But Sanchez’s fellow Spaniard Damian Quintero, European champion and world silver medallist in male kata, was once more unable to defeat Kiyuna, the world champion, who outscored him 28.68 to 27.08.

Da Costa thrilled the packed arena as with a dazzling victory in men’s kumite under-67kg.

France’s defending Grand Winner and world champion beat Italy’s Luca Maresca 12-3, commented afterwards: "I am very thrilled.

"I had very good feelings today, fighting here in Paris, at home with so much support from the stands.

"I can only thank all the fans here for their support.

"I felt all their help and I am glad that it ended this way."

Dacosta’s older brother Logan was unable to provide the hosts with another gold in the male kumite under-75kg final, where he was beaten 4-0 by Iran’s world champion Bahman Ghoncheh Asgari.

Another home hope, Dnylson Jacquet, was beaten 4-3 in the men’s kumite over-84kg final by Georgia’s Gogita Arkania.

The last two Grand Winners in male kumite under-60kg met in the final.

The current owner of the golden karategi of the category, Darkhan Assadilov of Kazakhstan, was surprised by the previous Grand Winner Eray Şamdan of Turkey, who won 5-4.

Irina Zaretska of Azerbaijan claimed a hard-fought victory in female kumite under-68kg.

The current Grand Winner and world champion defeated Feryal Abdelaziz of Egypt 3-0.

Merve Coban of Turkey beat Grand Winner Xiaoyan Yin of China 2-1 in the female kumite under-61kg.

Egypt’s Ahmed Mohamed Ramadan’s triumph by "Hantei" or decision over Ryutaro Araga of Japan in male kumite under-84kg and the 6-3 win by Hamideh Abbasali of Iran over Meltem Hocaoğlu Akyol of Turkey in female kumite over-68kg completed the list of winners today.

Spain and Turkey won respective titles in female and male team kata.

The 2020 Karate 1-Premier League is due to continue with the second event of the season to be held in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates from February 14 to 16.