GIANA Lotfi of Egypt took back the spotlight after her victory in the karate World Cup in Japan. The triumph in the female kumite -61kg category was hard fought for the two-time Egyptian world champion who left behind the disappointment of her early defeat at the African Games barely one month ago. Lotfi edged France’s Leila Heurtault in the final 4-3.
“The Olympic Games will be held here at Nippon Budokan in Tokyo and I hope that I will also win gold then,” Lotfi said. “I have been working very hard to be where I am right now, and I am very happy that I could win the gold medal today.”
Lotfi recovered from her early elimination at the African Games last month and produced a forceful demonstration of offensive karate, with an accumulated score of 15-1 in four bouts, including a 5-0 victory over China’s Xiaoyan Yin in the semi-finals.
“I am very happy to be in the final. I had very good fights today, and I am very glad to qualify for the final,” Lotfi said. “After finishing my studies, I am only focusing on karate and my only goal now is to qualify for Tokyo 2020 and my sole dream is to win an Olympic medal,” added Lotfi.
“It is the first time for karate to be introduced in the Olympics so it is my golden chance to participate representing my country Egypt and playing against champions from all over the world.” Added Lotfi: “I have done my best and I am still working hard to achieve my goal.”