Championship kicks off with repechage in Kata and Kumite
KOBE — The 11th FISU World University Karate Championship kicked off on 19 July, with the two events that will also make their debut appearance at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Kata and Kumite.
Day one’s schedule included elimination and repechage until the semifinals in the individual Kata male and female categories. Later in the afternoon, the Kobe Municipal Central Gymnasium witnessed the start of the Kumite event, with fights in the lighter weight categories of -60 kg and -67 kg for men, and -50 kg and -55 kg for women.
It is a special moment for Japan to be hosting the best student athletes from the world of karate, a sport that is intertwined with he Japanes identity. The last time Japan hosted the World University Karate Championship was eighteen years ago in the year 2000, when it was held in Kyoto. Japan is leaving no stone unturned therefore, to ensure a top performance. Leading athletes from the Japanese national team are part of the host nation’s student squad. This includes individual female Kumite fighter Miyahara Miho and Nakano Souichiro, a top-ranked WKF athlete (-67 kg category).
In the last World University Karate Championship that was held in Portugal, Japan won gold medals in all four Kata events. And there’s no reason to believe they can’t do it again. There will be tough competition though, with nearly 300 athletes from 32 countries and regions, all vying to be future stars of the sport. Competition will culminate with the finals on 22 July.