The European Karate Federation has unveiled the final list of Karate athletes that will compete for gold at the 2019 European Games.
No less than 96 karatekas will participate in the Karate competition of the European Games. The nearly 100 competitors represent 38 countries, with Turkey and hosts of Belarus presenting the largest delegations with eleven and twelve competitors, respectively.
The Karate event will be held at Chizhovka Arena from June 29 to 30. The competition will comprise of Kata and Kumite categories with a total of 12 medals being awarded.
Since the European Games are included in the qualification process for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, a host of World ranking leaders and current World Champions will clash for gold in Minsk.
As the current World title-holder and defending World ranking leader in Female Kata, Spain’s Sandra Sanchez is one of the karatekas set to spearhead the quest to the medals at the event. Turkey’s Serap Ozcelik who gold the gold in the first edition of the European Games in Baku also acts as World ranking headliner in Female Kumite -50kg, while Serbia’s Jovana Prekovic defends her World champion status in Female Kumite -61kg.
In Female Kumite -55kg, both World ranking leader Anzhelika Terliuga of Ukraine and World Champion Dorota Banaszczyk of Poland will act as front-runners, just as in Female Kumite -68kg with World ranking first-placed Elena Quirici of Switzerland and World title-holder Irina Zaretska of Azerbaijan. The World champion honour in Female Kumite +68kg is taken by Greece’s Eleni Chatziliadou who will also participate in Minsk.
In Male categories, Italy’s Angelo Crescenzo will try to use his World ranking leader and World champion status in his favour, just as Jonathan Horne of Germany in Male Kumite +84kg.
The stakes are high in Male Kumite -84kg with World champion Ivan Kvesic of Croatia and World ranking leader Ugur Aktas of Turkey among the favourites. Meanwhile, World ranking leader Azerbaijan’s Rafael Aghayev will try to extend his record-breaking tally of awards in Male Kumite -75kg.
CLICK HERE to go to the full list of participants at the 2nd European Games.