Para-Karate Athletes Take Gold and Silver at Senior World Championships
The 2016 Senior World Championships were held from October 25th-30th in Linz, Austria. Over a thousand athletes from 118 nations came prepared to fight and compete against the best in the world. The Canadian delegation included 18 athletes, accompanied by five coaches, one medical support staff, five officials and our President, Mr. Craig Vokey. Canada ends this event with one gold, one silver and two top-10 finishes. For full results, click here. For full para results click here.
For the second time, Karate Canada sent para-athletes to the World Championships. In 2014, Natalie Olson of Alberta was our sole representative and placed fifth. This time, Karate Canada sent three athletes and they made history. Olson took home silver, as her teammate Patricia Wright of Ontario became Canada’s first World Champion by winning gold in the Intellectually Impaired division. It was Wright’s first appearance at Worlds, at 40 years old.
In women’s kata, Rita Ngo, of British Columbia, won her first two matches before losing to Egyptian opponent Sarah Sayed, who eventually claimed the silver medal. Ngo then won one of her two repechage matches to ultimately place 7th in the division. In men’s kata, Kenneth Lee also from British Columbia finished 9th in his division. Lee won his first match and then lost against silver medallist Damian Quintero from Spain before going into repechage.
In men’s kumite, Daniel Gaysinsky, of Ontario, won his first two matches in the +84kg category before losing 0-1 to Andrei Grinevich from Belarus; Daniel also dominantly won a match for Canada in men’s Team Kumite division. This was only Gaysinsky’s second international competition in the +84kg, as he had previously fought in a lighter weight division. Sarmen Sinani of Ontario (men’s -84 kg) also performed rather well in this tournament, winning his first two matches 2-0 and 1-0 before losing 2-5 to the 2014 World Champion Gogita Arkania (from Georgia).
“This was a great milestone for Karate Canada, with amazing performances from our Para and Kata program athletes. We are very proud, and look confidently to the future” declared Karate Canada President, Mr. Craig Vokey. “As the world prepares for Tokyo 2020, the stakes are getting higher and the challenge is becoming greater. Besides achieving a remarkable and historic result in a Para-karate division at this event, Karate Canada has shown that its National Team programs are bearing fruit, with our best performance in years in both women’s and men’s individual kata, and a few athletes also showing tremendous promise and progress in kumite divisions. The future looks bright, and Karate Canada will continue its committed efforts towards ensuring readiness and podium contention for the Tokyo Olympic Games“ mentioned Olivier Pineau, Karate Canada’s Executive Director.