The second day of the competition of the 2023 EKF Senior Karate Championships concluded Thursday with some of the biggest stars of the sport demonstrating their prevalence on the tatami. Serap Ozcelik Arapoglu of Turkiye, Steven Dacosta of France, Anzhelika Terliuga of Ukraine and Angelo Crescenzo of Italy were among the big winners of the day.
SERAP OZCELIK ARAPOGLU SEARCHES SEVENTH CONTINENTAL CROWN
One of the most awarded athletes in the recent history of the sport, Serap Ozcelik Arapoglu of Turkiye demonstrated sensational stamina as she is fighting to win her seventh continental gold medal. The Turkish karateka who was an eight-time continental finalist qualified for the final of Female Kumite -50kg after upsetting local representative Nadia Gomez Morales 6-2.
Her rival is Shara Hubrich of Germany. The German athlete has a continental silver medal under her belt and is the current World Championships runner-up. She beat Erminia Perfetto of Italy in the semi-finals 5-3.
FRONTRUNNERS PREVAIL IN MALE KUMITE -67KG
The final of Male Kumite -67kg will see two of the top athletes in the category fighting for gold. World champion Steven Dacosta of France will clash for the title against Grand Winner Dionisyos Xenos of Greece.
World titleholder and two-time continental champion Steven Dacosta qualified for the final after beating Tural Aghalarzade of Azerbaijan in the semi-finals 2-0. Meanwhile, Xenos who won the continental title in 2021 edged Burak Uygur of Turkiye in the semi-finals 1-0.
ANZHELIKA TERLIUGA AIMS AT THIRD TITLE
One of the leading stars of Karate, Anzhelika Terliuga of Ukraine confirmed her favourite status and qualified for the final of Female Kumite -55kg. It is the fourth final for the Ukrainian Olympian, who became continental champion last year in Gaziantep and in 2018. Terliuga reached the final bout following a 3-2 triumph over Gizem Bugur of Germany.
Veronica Brunori of Italy also qualified for the final of the category. A former U21 continental champion, Brunori surprised favourites and performed at an impressive level to make it to her first final in senior competitions. Brunori qualified for the final after claiming an outstanding 9-1 victory over Nejra Sipovic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
MORE GOLD CHANCES FOR ITALY
Powerhouse nation of Italy completed an impressive day in Guadalajara today. In addition to Veronica Brunori’s qualification for the final, the Italian delegation celebrated Angelo Crescenzo’s final spot in Male Kumite -60kg.
The former World champion and four-time continental medallist made it to his fourth continental final after edging Florian Hass of Germany 0-0. Crescenzo aims at his first continental crown as he lost the three finals that he participated in.
The other side of the tatami will be taken by Christos-Stefanos Xenos of Greece who extended brother Dionisyos Xenos’ success as he also reached the final bout. The Greek karateka defeated Eray Samdan of Turkiye in the semi-finals 3-0.
The finals of Male Team Kata featuring Spain vs Turkiye and the eliminations of Team Kumite divisions completed the thrilling day of the competition.