WKF President Antonio Espinós, left, alongside WKF secretary general Toshihisa Nagura, said the Olympics needs karate after the sport's debut at Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

World Karate Federation President Antonio Espinós insists the sport can make a return to the Olympics as a permanent part of the programme.

Karate made its first appearance in an Olympic Games at Tokyo 2020 but was dropped by Paris 2024, with breakdancing replacing it alongside the other three new sports this year, skateboarding, surfing and sport climbing. 

Espinós told the International Olympic Committee (IOC): "The same as karate needs the Olympic Games, the Olympic Games needs karate.

"We have shown to the world that karate is a unique sport.

"We have shown the merits to be in the Olympic programme as a permanent sport.

"Karate is a sport that needs very special athletic preparation and very special technique

"This is something we can offer to the Olympic movement because it corresponds to the Olympic values."

Twenty countries won medals over the three days of competition which drew entries from 36 countries and also featured Refugee Olympic team member Hamoon Derafshipour, who finished fifth in the under-67 kilograms kumite.

Karate made its debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics but has been dropped from the programme for Paris 2024 ©Getty Images
Karate made its debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics but has been dropped from the programme for Paris 2024 ©Getty Images

"Karate is a sport with Japanese roots, but we have achieved universality but not an artificial universality," Espinós added. 

"We have achieved universality in a natural way and this has been a legacy of the country of Japan to the world.

"We have dedicated thousands of hours to have a good competition in Tokyo.

"Based on these values, this is why we claim that we knock on the door of the IOC and say we are here."

Espinós also defended the controversial end to last night’s men’s over-75kg kumite when Iranian Sajad Ganjzadeh won after Saudi Arabia’s Tareg Hamedi was disqualified for using "excessive force."

"What happened yesterday was not the outcome we would have preferred," Espinós admitted.

"It is a contact sport with very clear rules with the protection of the health and safety of the athlete. 

"When it happened, we showed we have the tools in place to control the situation."