Turkey Dominates First WKF Event in More Than a Year

Damian Quintero

Host country Turkey led the way at Sunday's Karate 1-Premier League finals, the first international event staged by the World Karate Federation in more than a year. Turkey captured two individual gold medals in kumite as Serap Ozcelik Arapoglu took the women's 50 kg division with a 4-2 victory over Germany's Shara Hubrich and Eray Samdan claimed the men's 60 kg category defeating Firdovsi Farzaliyev of Azerbaijan 1-0.

Spain edged out the home country in both kata divisions though as Sandra Sanchez took the women's category while Damian Quintero captured the men's competition. The next Karate 1-Premier League event is scheduled to take place April 30 through May 2 in Lisbon, Portugal.

Addendum by Jackson Rudolph:

The event also saw promising results for Team USA Olympic hopefuls Ariel Torres of Florida and Mason Stowell of Colorado. The kata competitors faced off in the bronze medal match and each secured a top-five finish, with Torres claiming the hardware. Not only is this a significant result for the United States Olympic roster, but it has implications within the open sport karate world as well. Both competitors are featured in the Official Black Belt Magazine World Sport Karate Rankings with Torres as the undisputed champion of the Men's Traditional Forms category, followed closely by Stowell who enters the adult division this season as the #2 ranked contender in the world.

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