EKF officials have inspected preparations for the European Karate Championships ©WKF

European Karate Federation (EKF) officials have praised their Croatian counterparts for their "exceptional" cooperation after inspecting preparations for this year's European Championships in Poreč.

Croatia stepped in to stage the event after Sweden withdrew as hosts because of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

An EKF delegation, led by Organising Commission Chairman Esteban Perez, travelled to Poreč to meet with organisers and assess their progress.

The EKF and Croatian Karate Union (CKU) officials examined the competition venue, training halls, hotels and the location for the EKF Congress during the visit.

COVID-19 regulations which are set to be implemented at the Championships, scheduled to take place from May 19 to 23, were among the other key topics on the agenda.

The competition venue and training halls were among the areas visited by the EKF delegation ©WKF
The competition venue and training halls were among the areas visited by the EKF delegation ©WKF

"The cooperation of the CKU has been exceptional thus far and it shows the excellent organisational skills of top-level national federations such as the one headed by Davor Cipek," said EKF and World Karate Federation President Antonio Espinós.

"The EKF is grateful to the CKU for their support and I hope that ongoing efforts like this inspection visit result in a memorable Championships in May."

Poreč was awarded the Championships after the EKF said Croatia offered an approach that followed the correct conditions to host the event during the pandemic.

This included finding a central location in Europe and holding the competition in a nation with hosting experience.

The rearranged event will form part of the qualification process for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, pushed back to July 23 to August 8 2021 because of the global health crisis.