Turkey’s Serap Ozcelik became one of the big stars in the opening day of the Karate 1-Series A Istanbul after qualifying for the finals of the tournament in front of family and friends. The first day of action at the WOW Hotel Congress Centre in Istanbul was also determined by surprises taking over the competition.
With medals in all major tournaments this year, Serap Ozcelik of Turkey is showing an exceptional form. The current Grand Winner confirmed her status as one of Karate’s biggest stars and qualified for her fourth final of the season after prevailing in Female Kumite -55kg. The Turkish idol delighted local fans since she managed to reach the finals in her hometown of Istanbul. Ozcelik edged Ayaka Tadano of Japan by ‘Hantei’ or decision in semi-finals and will clash for gold against Shiau-Shuang Gu of Chinese-Taipei. The current Asian Championships bronze medallist from Chinese Taipei surprised and defeated Bettina Plank of Austria in semi-finals to make it to her second consecutive final in Istanbul.
SURPRISES IN MALE KATA
Surprises dominated the competition in Male Kata and top favourites saw how dark horses reached the final of the category. Turkey’s Emre Vefa Goktas and Japan’s Kakeru Nishiyama were the unexpected finalists in Male Kata.
Turkish karateka Emre Vefa Goktas topped his pool after taking a score of 25.92 with his Gankaku kata. Meanwhile, Kakeru Nishiyama who won silver in Karate 1-Series Salzburg last year qualified for his second international final following an unpredicted victory in his pool. The promising Japanese karateka claimed a score of 27.64 with his performance of Papuren Kata.
KARATEKAS ON TOP FORM
Front-runners did manage to succeed in Female Kumite -55kg as two of the top-ranked competitors will clash for gold. Tzu-Yun Wen of Chinese Taipei who is second in WKF World ranking made it to her third final this year after edging Cok Istri Agung Sanistyarani of Indonesia in semi-finals (1-0).
The other spot in the final is for Travat Khaksar of Iran who already prevailed in the opening Karate 1-Series A event in Salzburg. The Iranian karateka shocked Jana Bitsch of Germany in semi-finals by an impressive 9-4.
The categories of Female Kumite -61kg, Male Kumite -84kg and Male Kumite +84kg will finish the day of the massive event in Istanbul.