Minister of Youth and Sports Ashraf Sobhi congratulated the Egyptian team after it took first place in the Karate 1-Premier League, the tournament making its first appearance in Cairo. The Karate1-Premier League is the most important league event in the world of karate. Sobhi commended the team for its “great performance and enthusiasm” and also praised the Egyptian Karate Federation “for hosting such a top event and showing the whole world how Egypt is capable of organising a world-class championship with its state of the art facilities.
“I am really honoured to inaugurate the Karate 1-Premier League being held at Cairo International Stadium from 27-29 January,” Sobhi said at the opening ceremony. “The event is very well organised and all the participants and delegations are proud to participate in such an event, and in Cairo. I also thank the players who exerted their utmost effort to top the medals table and collect 13 medals. I am very proud of the Egyptian karatekas and I hope they will continue to raise their country’s name in all international championships.”
The opening ceremony and later the tournament were also attended by President of the World Karate Federation (WKF) Antonio Espinós Ortueta, President of the Egyptian Karate Federation Mohamed Al-Dahrawi, Ambassador of Japan to Egypt Oka Hiroshi, and other senior officials.
Ortueta hailed Egypt’s organisation of the event. “I am very proud to be here in Cairo and to attend such a marvelous, well-organised Premier League. Egypt now has all the needed facilities to host the most prestigious events and the Egyptian karatekas have reached international levels and the sport is very well-developed in Egypt. I hope Egypt will bid to host more international events in the future and I will totally agree with their bidding.”
Al-Dahrawi congratulated the Egyptians for their “outstanding performance” after they collected three gold, three silver, and seven bronze while competing against world champions. Ukraine came in second place with three gold and one bronze while Japan came third with two gold and four bronze.
The first gold medal for Egypt was claimed by Reem Ahmed Salama in the women’s kumite -50k after overcoming Grand Winner Yorgelis Salazar of Venezuela 9-4.
Abdallah Hisham collected the second gold medal after defeating Daniele De Vivo of Italy by an impressive 6-0 in the men’s kumite -75kg.
Egypt completed its gold streak in the men’s kumite +84kg as Taha Tarek Mahmoud defeated Babacar Seck Sakho of Spain in a demonstration of abilities 7-4.
The three silver medals came from Mohamed Gabr in the men’s kumite -60kg, Nourseen Ali in women’s kumite -61kg and Salma Hassan in the female kumite -55kg. The bronze medals were collected by Karim Abu Eita in the men’s kumite -60 kg, Mahmoud Badawi in the men’s kumite +84kg, Ahlam Youssef in the female kumite -55kg, Basmalla Hassan in the female kumite -61kg, Ferial Ashraf in the female kumite -68kg, and Sohaila Ismail and Dina Ezzat in the female kumite +68kg.
* A version of this article appears in print in the 2 February, 2023 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly