Karate in the kaleidoscope of the European Games

Karate continues to be an integral part of the European Games.

Karate continues to be an integral part of the European Games. Another multi-forum, held in Krakow, presented a number of interesting scenarios on the tatami, and in the weight category up to 67 kg, the newcomer of the Team Budo-Nord Tural Agalarzade won in the new #GreenKarate Gi Mirai (find further information regarding the #Green karate project at Green Karate | Approved World Karate Federation (wkf.net). 

Since Baku-2015, karate has played an important role in the European Games, attracting the attention of sports fans. Karate competitions were held not in Krakow, but in Bielsko-Biala and became one of the events that opened the program of the Games. The tournament was a high point for Tural Agalarzade, who won the gold medal in brilliant style. At the group stage, he defeated Tadissi Martial Yves  (HUN, 4:0), Pisino Noah Tony (SUI, 5-3), and completed his performance in the group with a victory over multiple European champion Xenos Dionysios  (GRE, 2:0). This was not the last meeting of the rivals at the European Games, in the future they will meet in the final. 

In the semi-finals Tural coped with the owner of the tatami Sabiecki Milosz (4:3), and in the decisive fight he again met with Xenos. The fight turned out to be tactful and tense, but the Azerbaijani karateka was a little more active. As a result, Agalar Zade won with Hantei and this achievement is one of the most significant in his career. “There was a tactical fight, we know each other very well with the Xenos that the titles speak of. But I was determined to win and I have repeatedly said that I count on winning in Bielsko-Biala. And so it happened, and this success is special for me, because I have never competed at the European Games before. For example, last time an injury got in the way. But now everything has improved, and it’s nice that I opened the scoring for the medals of the Azerbaijani team at the European Games. I just can’t put into words what this result means to me. Many thanks to everyone who worried about me, I felt this support,” Agalarzade said.

He also told how he returned to the big sport after a serious injury. “At one time, I abandoned sports for a long time, went through a difficult recovery course. And when he returned to the carpet, he was 44th in the world rankings. Now I am fourth, and all the strongest have competed at the European Games. The level of competition was very high,” added Tural. 

In the weight category up to 61 kg, Swede Nilsson Anna-Johanna Kr, who failed to make it to the playoffs, was announced. All three matches of the group stage ended unsuccessfully for her. First, Nilsson lost to Serogina Anita (UKR, 1:4), then to Mangiacapra Alessandra (ITA, 2:1) and Suchankova Ingrida  (SVK, 4:0).

Another athlete of ”Budo Nord” at the competitions was Ukrainian Galina Melnik (68 kg), who lost in all bouts of the group stage. First, she lost to the future champion Zaretskaya Irina (AZE, 0:5), then lost to Nieto Mejias Maria Isabel (ESP, 4:4) and Makyan Anita (ARM, 0:3).

President of the World Karate Federation Antonio Espinos visited the European Games and shared his impressions of what he saw. “Everyone knows that these are the best fighters in Europe and this is their first big start since the Tokyo Olympics. The strongest have come here, and the competitions are held at a high level – the eight best athletes in each category have come to Bielsko-Biala. Watching the fights was extremely interesting and pleasant that karate remains an integral part of the European Games.”

The head of the World Federation also noted that there is a plan to return karate to the Olympics program: “We are working on it and I would like to see karate included in the 2028 Games in Los Angeles. We hope that karate will become one of the disciplines that will qualify for inclusion in the program, and our athletes will again be able to compete for Olympic medals. Serious work is underway, we continue to promote karate on the continents, including the United States.”

Read more about the World Karate Federation (WKF) and  Budo-Nord welcomes Tural Aghalarzade

Read more about Return to Japan – The Premier in Fukuoka

Read More about Karate – European Games 2023 (european-games.org)

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