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Celebrating the Grand Winners of the 2023 Karate 1-Premier League

© WKF - Grand Winner 2023

The curtains fell on the 2023 Karate 1-Premier League season this Sunday, marking the crowning of the new “Best of the Best” in a grand event held in Dublin, Ireland. This prestigious event heralded the rise of a new class of top athletes, who will proudly don the special karategi adorned with golden embroidery in the upcoming season. Here, we celebrate the remarkable performances of the 2023 Grand Winners.

The 2023 Grand Winners: A Blend of Familiar and New Faces

This year’s Grand Winners list features a blend of familiar faces retaining their titles and newcomers making their mark in the world of Karate. Here are the distinguished athletes who have earned the prestigious title of Grand Winner this season:

  • Female Kata: Hikaru Ono (JPN)
  • Female Kumite -50kg: Yorgelis Salazar (VEN)
  • Female Kumite -55kg: Anzhelika Terliuga (UKR)
  • Female Kumite -61kg: Reem Khamis (GER)
  • Female Kumite -68kg: Elena Quirici (SUI)
  • Female Kumite +68kg: Ayumi Uekusa (JPN)
  • Male Kata: Nishiyama Kakeru (JPN)
  • Male Kumite -60kg: Hiromu Hashimoto (JPN)
  • Male Kumite -67kg: Abdel Rahman Almasatfa (JOR)
  • Male Kumite -75kg: Quentin Mahauden (BEL)
  • Male Kumite -84kg: Mohammad Aljafari (JOR)
  • Male Kumite +84kg: Ryzvan Talibov (UKR)

Continuing Dominance

Anzhelika Terliuga continues her reign in the Female Kumite -55kg category, securing the “Best of the Best” title for an impressive third consecutive season. Her consistency and prowess in the sport have made her a formidable force in the category.

Yorgelis Salazar of Venezuela and Kakeru Nishiyama of Japan are also retaining their golden embroidered karategis, marking another season of dominance in the Female Kumite -50kg and Male Kata categories, respectively.

In a thrilling highlight of the Dublin event, Hikaru Ono of Japan managed to retain the Grand Winner title in the Female Kata category, showcasing an exceptional performance against main contender Mo Sheung Grace Lau of Hong Kong.

Returning Champions

Japan’s Ayumi Uekusa made a triumphant return, reclaiming the “Best of the Best” title in the Female Kumite +68kg category, a recognition she previously held in 2017, 2018, and 2020. Similarly, Elena Quirici of Switzerland reclaimed her crown in the Female Kumite -68kg category, a title she last held in 2017.

New Faces Emerge

The Dublin event also saw the rise of first-time Grand Winners, showcasing the dynamic and evolving landscape of the sport. Olympian Abdel Rahman Almasatfa of Jordan led the pack of newcomers, showcasing a stellar performance throughout the season.

Germany’s Reem Khamis, the current continental champion and U21 World Championships runner-up, confirmed her rapid rise to stardom with a well-deserved Grand Winner award in the Female Kumite -61kg category.

Joining the ranks of first-time Grand Winners are Mohammad Aljafari of Jordan in the Male Kumite -84kg category, Ryzvan Talibov of Ukraine in the Male Kumite +84kg category, and promising karatekas Quentin Mahauden of Belgium in the Male Kumite -75kg category and Hiromu Hashimoto of Japan in the Male Kumite -60kg category.

As we close this chapter and look forward to the next season, we celebrate the remarkable achievements of these athletes. Their dedication, skill, and spirit continue to elevate the sport of Karate, promising an exciting and competitive season ahead. Congratulations to all the 2023 Grand Winners!

Photo © WKF – Grand Winner 2023

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