Turkey claimed three gold medals on the final day of the Karate-1 Premier League event in Istanbul as the sport hosted its first major international competition for a year.
In the female Kumite -50 kilograms category, Grand Winner Serap Özçelik Arapoğlu opened the host nation’s gold medal tally after beating Shara Hubrich of Germany 4-2, with an ippon helping Arapoğlu secure victory.
Turkey’s second gold of the day came in the Male Kumite -60kg category, after Eray Samdan narrowly beat Firdovsi Farzaliyev of Azerbaijan through a single yuko 1-0.
One of the most complete final performances of the day came from Sajad Ganjzadeh of Iran in the Male Kumite +84kg category.
Ganjzadeh, a Grand Winner and current number two in the sport’s world rankings, comfortably beat Ryzvan Talibov of Ukraine 7-0, with a mawashi geri kick the highlight of a dominant display.
In the Kata categories, Spain got the better of Turkey in both the men’s and women’s categories.
The Female Kata discipline saw Grand Winner Sandra Sanchez of Spain beat Turkey’s Dilara Bozan 27.94 to 25.34. with the world ranking leader sealing victory with a chatanyara kushanku.
The best moments of the final day of Karate 1-Premier League Istanbul 🇹🇷 are here❗️👇— World Karate Federation 🥋 (@worldkarate_wkf) March 14, 2021
Full video on WKF 📺 YouTube Channel https://t.co/S1Bwp2SZUA
Which one did you like the most? pic.twitter.com/p4DySb6m0h
In the Male Kata, world ranking leader Damian Quintero also claimed gold after overcoming Ali Sofuoglu of Turkey by 26.36 to 26.12, thanks to a suparinpei.
The most dramatic win of the day came in the Male Kumite -75kg category as European champion Luigi Busa of Italy beat Dastonbek Otabolaev of Uzbekistan 4-2 thanks to an ippon in the dying stages.
The Male Kumite -67kg category saw African Championship runner-up Ali Elsawy of Egypt beat Burak Uygur of Turkey by first unopposed point as the contest ended 3-3.
There was another tight encounter in the Female Kumite +68kg category as Sofya Berultseva of Kazakhstan beat Turkey’s Meltem Hocaoglou Akyol by decision as the contest ended 3-3.
The last contested final was in the Female Kumite -55kg category with Valeria Kumizaki of Brazil edging out Valentina Toro of Chile by first unopposed point, with the contest ending 1-1 after both competitors scored yukos.
Three categories were one by karatekas whose athletes were absent due to injury – Jovana Prekovic of Serbia in the Female Kumite -61kg, Silvia Semeraro of Italy in the Female Kumite -68kg and Zabiollah Poorshab of Iran in the Male Kumite -84kg.
The second round of the Karate 1-Premier League season is scheduled to take place in Lisbon, Portugal from April 30 to May 2.