Two Silver Medals in Rotterdam for Canadian Karateka
Over the weekend, a number of Canadian National Team Roster members were in Rotterdam, Netherlands, for the Dutch Open Karate-1 Championships, which were held from March 17th-19th. Although no official delegation was sent by Karate Canada, the athletes were accompanied by Senior National Team Head Kumite Coach Nassim Varasteh.
In women’s kumite, Haya Jumaa, of Ontario, took the silver medal, defeated in the final by Xiaoyan Yin of China, currently ranked 7th in the World Karate Federation. In the -55kg category, Valentyna Zolotarova, of British Columbia, placed 9th in repechage.
Daniel Gaysinsky, of Ontario, dominated his first four matches in the +84kg division, before losing in the final match to Jonathan Horne of Germany, currently ranked 4th in the World Karate Federation. Daniel led the match 4-1, but was unfortunately disqualified in the last minute of the match, finishing with a silver medal. Sarmen Sinani won his first match in the -84kg division, losing his second to Anes Congo of Bosnia & Herzegovina.
In women’s kata, Rita Ngo, of British Columbia, won her first two matches before losing to Gema Morales of Spain. In men’s kata, Toshihide Uchiage, also of British Columbia, won his first two matches, losing to eventual silver medalist Damian Quintero of Spain (who was a silver medalist at the latest WKF World Championships); he placed 11th in repechage.
The 2017 Dutch Open is an important preparation event on the road to the next summer Olympic Games, taking place in Tokyo 2020. Karate Canada President Craig Vokey stated that “Karate Canada is focused on bringing athletes to Tokyo in 2020. This is the second K1 event this season where Athletes representing Canada earned podium finishes. With the increased level of world competition, this bodes well for the future.”