The quest to qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is as exciting as ever. The Karate Olympic standings have been updated with the new month, and these are the karatekas who are currently taking the qualifying spots for Karate’s debut in Tokyo 2020.
SOLID LEADERS IN KATA
The qualifying competitions being held this past month have not changed the top positions in the Olympic standings in Kata categories. Ryo Kiyuna of Japan and Sandra Sanchez of Spain continue leading the rankings.
After taking gold at the AKF Championships, Japan’s Ryo Kiyuna keeps the leadership of Male Kata. The Japanese three-time World champion heads the standings with a 532.5 point difference over Spain’s Damian Quintero. Ali Sofuoglu of Turkey, Antonio Diaz of Venezuela and Mattia Busato of Italy take the rest of qualifying spots. Ilja Smorguner of Germany is next in the qualifying race at 1,020 points of the last of the eligible places.
Spain’s Sandra Sanchez spearheads Female Kata for another month. The current World champion takes advantage of 960 points over Japan’s Kiyou Shimizu who won gold at the continental championships this past month. Italy’s Viviana Bottaro, Mo Sheung Grace Lau of Hong Kong and Sakura Kokumai of the USA claim the rest of the qualifying spots. Maria Dimitrova of the Dominican Republic is next on the list at 622.5 points.
SLIM MARGIN IN MALE KUMITE -67KG
Only 67.5 points separate the two top contenders in Male Kumite -67kg. Darkhan Assadilov of Kazakhstan, who could not reach the medals in the continental championships, leads the category, but France’s Steven Dacosta is less than 100 points away, so the quest to dominate the category appears extremely thrilling.
Angelo Crescenzo of Italy and Ali Elsawy of Egypt are also on qualifying spots while Hiroto Shinohara takes the place for the host country. Eray Samdan of Turkey is fifth at 210 points of the fourth place.
SERAP OZCELIK CONTINUES ON TOP
One of the most dominating competitors in today’s Karate, Serap Ozcelik of Turkey remains on top of Female Kumite -55kg. The fierce Turkish karateka keeps a comfortable 2,070 point-lead over second-placed Anzhelika Terliuga of Ukraine. The rest of the places with the right to be in Tokyo 2020 are taken by Bettina Plank of Austria, Miho Miyahara of Japan and Tzu-Yun Wen of Chinese Taipei, with Poland’s Dorota Banaszczyk knocking on the qualifying spots at 232.5 points.
ASIAN KARATEKAS TAKE LEAD IN MALE KUMITE -75KG
After claiming medals at the AKF Championships this last month, Bahman Asgari Ghoncheh of Iran and Ken Nishimura of Japan take the two top places in Male Kumite -75kg. The Iranian karateka, who is the current World champion, won bronze in Tashkent and tops the category with 345 points of difference over Nishimura who prevailed at the continental event in Uzbekistan.
The rest of the leading positions in the category are taken by Luigi Busa of Italy, Rafael Aghayev of Azerbaijan and Thomas Scott of the USA. Stanislav Horuna of Ukraine is sixth at 360 points of the qualifying spots.
XIAOYAN YIN REMAINS ON PERFECT FORM
The category of Female Kumite -61kg presents small variations from the last update and China’s Xiaoyan Yin continues on top. The Chinese karateka is showing spectacular form this season and keeps the leadership of the category, much more so after her victory at the continental championships this past month.
The second place is for Egypt’s Giana Lotfy who also prevailed at the continental championships in July. Serbia’s Jovana Prekovic and Turkey’s Merve Coban complete the rest of the top four positions while Mayumi Someya is the first qualified of the host country. Hoping to get into the qualifying places, Gwendoline Philippe of France and Alexandra Grande of Peru remain in line at 817.5 and 1,042.5 of the fourth place respectively.
STRONG RIVALRIES IN MALE KUMITE +75KG
Continental champions and current World title-holders continue on top of Male Kumite +75kg. Turkey’s Ugur Aktas keeps the leadership with a 1,260-point difference over second-placed Sajad Ganjzadeh of Iran who finished the continental championships with a bronze medal. World champions Jonathan Horne of Germany and Ivan Kvesic of Croatia take the rest of the qualifying positions, with Ryutaro Araga claiming the host country quota. Iran’s Zabiollah Poorshab stays on the brim of the qualification after taking the gold medal in Tashkent this past month.
TOP CONTENDERS MAINTAIN PRESENCE IN FEMALE KUMITE +61KG
With barely 1000 points separating the top four places, the quest to the qualification in Female Kumite +61kg appears as open as ever. Elena Quirici of Switzerland is the leader of the category with 742.5 points of difference over Irina Zaretska of Azerbaijan. Ayumi Uekusa, who could not prevail at the continental championships this month takes the spot for Japan while Eleni Chatziliadou of Greece and newly-proclaimed Asian champion Hamideh Abbasali of Iran complete the roster of athletes on qualifying positions.