Antonio Espinós revealed the WKF is ready to host major competitions after a successful COVID-19 test event ©WKF

World Karate Federation (WKF) President Antonio Espinós believes the organisation is "prepared to host our major international events" after hosting a successful COVID-19 test event in Lisbon.

Following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the WKF issued a set of procedures to allow karate events to take place safely. 

This protocol was tested at an event in Portuguese capital Lisbon, the first international contest run by the WKF in nearly 10 months. 

The WKF COVID-19 event medical team will now oversee all major competitions and ensure protocol is being followed.

Among the procedures is a mandatory COVID-19 test and health assessment for all participants, with competitors also tested every day of the event. 

Social distancing and the mandatory use of certified masks will be strengthened, with referees, coaches, staff members and the media obliged to wear the certified mask at all times, while athletes will be exempt from the use of masks during the warm-up and bouts only. 

Participants will access the venue per category, with limited admission to certain areas. 

Both the field of play and the warm-up areas will be regularly sanitised. 

Social-distancing measures are set to be in place during medal ceremonies at WKF events ©WKF
Social-distancing measures are set to be in place during medal ceremonies at WKF events ©WKF

Physical contact outside of bouts is encouraged to be avoided, with social-distancing measures set to be in place during medal ceremonies.

The WKF pans to publish a video documentary with the highlights of the event in Lisbon to familiarise future participants with the COVID-19 protocol.

"Karate is ready to go back to the tatamis," Espinós said. 

"Many national federations are already resuming their activities - after issuing our complete COVID-19 protocol, and after the test this weekend, we believe that we are prepared to host our major international events. 

"We have waited for too long to see our beloved sport in action again but now we are absolutely certain that we can return to activity with guarantees for our competitors, officials and staff members.

"We can’t thank the Portuguese Karate Federation, its President Carlos Silva and the fantastic team of the Portuguese Karate Federation enough for their outstanding hard work this weekend, and for their efforts to make this event a huge success. 

"With cooperation such as the one we have received from the Portuguese Karate Federation, we are sure that the bright future of our sport is guaranteed."