ANOC WORLD BEACH GAMES GOLD MEDALLIST SANDRA SANCHEZ AND RYO KIYUNA CONTINUE ON THEIR 2021 SUCCESS PATH
Nearly 1000 athletes from 105 countries compete at the Senior World Karate Federation World Championship in Dubai (UAE).
After six thrilling days of action, the Karate World Championships crowned Ryo Kiyuna of Japan and Sandra Sanchez of Spain as the king and queen of Individual Kata, which is the selected discipline in the sports core program of the next two editions of the ANOC World Beach Games.
Sandra Sanchez from Spain completed the quadruple crown of World, European, Olympic, and World titles.
The current Olympic champion extended her domination of the Female Kata category since she won her second consecutive world crown in Dubai. Sanchez defeated Hikaru Ono of Japan after excelling with “Chatanyara Kushanku” kata and receiving a score of 28.46 points for 27.42 for Ono.
Sandra Sanchez said: “I am feeling a flow of emotions now. I feel like crying. It makes me extremely happy that I was able to accomplish all the achievements that I set my mind to. It makes me very proud, not only of the results that we have been getting but also proud of the hard work that we do with (coach and husband) Jesus (del Moral)”.
“A while ago, I could not even imagine being able to win a Karate tournament. And now, I am close to achieving something absolutely incredible,” said Sandra Sanchez before starting the competition in Dubai.
Aged 40 years old, Sandra Sanchez’s story is a tale of resilience, tireless efforts, and an unbreakable character. While she started practising Karate at an early age, when she was four years old, it was not until her late twenties and early thirties that she went into top-level competitive Karate.
Ryo Kiyuna of Japan became the athlete with the most gold medals won at World Championships in Male Kata. The Japanese Kata icon defeated Damian Quintero of Spain in the final and claimed his fourth consecutive World title in Male Kata. Only Rafael Aghayev of Azerbaijan, with five World Championships, has more World titles than Kiyuna.
“I am very happy about this World Championships. To me, it feels like the one I won for the first time,” Kiyuna said.
The current Olympic gold medallist prevailed in the final as he received 28.38 points for his presentation of “Ohan Dai” for 26.66 points of Quintero.
Born in the birthplace of Karate in Okinawa, the Kata athlete showcases all the virtues of sport as an ambassador on the tatami of the traditional Okinawan style of Karate known as Ryuei-ryu.
“I was able to tell Okinawa, Japan, and the whole world that Karate, which represents Okinawa’s tradition, is loved by a lot of people. I am happy to leave my mark on Okinawa’s history,” said Kiyuna after winning gold at the Olympics in his home country.
A sports enthusiast who started practising Karate when he was five “because it looked cool”, Kiyuna continues the long-established preponderance of Japan in Kata that was initiated by Karate’s heroes such as legend Tsuguo Sakumoto, now Kiyuna’s coach and mentor.
Women’s Individual Kata
1. Stefania SANCHEZ (ESP)
2. Hikaru ONO (JPN)
3. Grace LAU (HKG)
3. Viviana BOTTARO (ITA)
Men’s Individual Kata
1. Ryo KIYUNA (JPN)
2. Damian QUINTERO (ESP)
3. Mattia BUSATO (ITA)
3. Ali SOFUOGLU (TUR)
Photo credit: World Karate Federation