Spain's Sanchez wins karate gold

Grace Lau of Hong Kong, China, and Viviana Bottaro of Italy won bronze

AP , Thursday 5 Aug 2021
Sandra Sanchez
Sandra Sanchez Jaime of Spain celebrates after winning the women s kata final bout for Karate at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. AP

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Sandra Sanchez of Spain has won the first Olympic gold medal in karate, beating Japan's Kiyou Shimizu in the final matchup in women's kata.

The 39-year-old Sanchez scored a 28.06 in the final bout, her screams echoing off the walls at the Budokan as she put in a spirited demonstration of karate form. Shimizu's score was 27.88.

Sanchez has dominated her discipline in Europe for the past seven years, making her a fitting first champion in the Olympic debut of karate. The martial art is in the Olympic program on a temporary basis in Japan after a half-century of attempts to gain Olympic recognition.

Grace Lau of Hong Kong, China, and Viviana Bottaro of Italy won bronze.

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