More than 200 people attended the refereeing seminar ©WKF

The Senegal Karate Federation and African Karate Federation have conducted a large-scale refereeing seminar in Dakar.

More than 200 participants, representing six countries, attended the event in the host city of the next Summer Youth Olympic Games.

Javier Escalante, chair of the World Karate Federation (WFK) Referee Commission, conducted the seminar.

WKF vice-president Bechir Cherif and Executive Committee member Souleymane Gaye were among the other high-ranking officials in attendance, along with the secretary general of the Senegalese National Olympic and Sports Committee, Seydina Oumar Diagne.

The seminar comprised of both theory sessions and practical exercises.

It also coincided with the Open International Tournament in Dakar.

"The celebration of high-level activities such as this seminar in Senegal is crucial for the development of our sport," claimed WKF President Antonio Espinós.

"We are pleased to note that the event was a success in terms of participation as it further demonstrates the great popularity of karate in the region."

WKF vice-president Bechir Cherif, centre, was among those in attendance ©WKF
WKF vice-president Bechir Cherif, centre, was among those in attendance ©WKF

The Dakar 2026 Youth Olympics Games are set to represent karate's next Olympic appearance.

The sport made its full Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020, but is not on the programme for Paris 2024.

In August, Espinós claimed that "karate needs the Olympic Games and the Olympic Games needs karate", and the WKF is lobbying for the sport to return to the full Olympic Games.

Dakar 2026 was delayed by four years because of the coronavirus pandemic, having initially been scheduled to take place next year.