The best European karatekas gathered in Minsk (Belarus) to fight for the crown of the 2019 European Games, the multi-discipline tournament that put Karate again in the spotlight of a major sports event. The competition was regarded as a big hit for the modality, with a thrilling showcase of sporting abilities during the two days of action.
“We have established once again the outstanding added benefits that Karate can bring to multi-sports events. Our sport has demonstrated its great appeal at the 2019 European Games, and it is clear that our honor, our values, and our sporting spirit have contributed greatly to the success of the European Games,” said WKF and EKF President Antonio Espinós.
Karate celebrated in Minsk its second appearance at the European Games. After the excellent presentation in Baku in 2015, the sport took the stage of the continental event with two days of competition and 96 athletes from 37 countries fighting for the 48 medals at stake. No less than 23 nations went home with awards. As it happens in every Karate tournament, the equality between men and women was maintained with the same number of competitors and the same number of events for both genders.
“The Karate competition at the European Games was, simply put, spectacular. So much so, that fans attending the event on-site or watching the tournament on TV could enjoy no less than 42 ‘Ippon’ throughout the two days,” said Mr. Espinós referring to the highest score and most difficult action in Kumite.
“The level of the Kata competition was also remarkable. Out of the 16 karatekas participating in the Kata event in Minsk, up to nine of them are in the top 20 in WKF World ranking thus ensuring the exceptional level of the bouts,” added the head of Karate’s international governing body who stated that ten of the twelve current European champions, eight WKF World ranking leaders, and eight current World champions attended the event in all the categories.
“All the great work and all the accomplishments in Minsk gives us new strength to continue fighting against the unpredicted challenges that we are currently facing. With success like the one we had in Minsk, we have demonstrated that Karate deserves to be in all major multi-sport events,” declared WKF and EKF President.