• Kyodo


Japan won gold medals in both the men’s and women’s karate kata team competition on Sunday, the final day of the six-day world championships.

The Japanese men’s and women’s teams defended their titles by claiming a pair of 5-0 victories over Spain in their respective finals at WiZink Center sports hall.

In the team kata events, three athletes from each team perform choreographed karate techniques, but the competition will not be in the Olympic program when karate makes its Summer Games debut in Tokyo.

Ryo Kiyuna, a member of the men’s team along with Arata Kinjo and Takuya Uemura, said he was glad to defend his title in the event in addition to the individual kata division he won the previous day.

“I would like to focus on the basics when I train and raise my performance to the next level,” he said.

“I’ve watched this (competition) since I was very young, and now I’m at the spot which I’ve longed to reach, so I feel happy,” reflected Sae Taira, who competed in the women’s event with Mai Mugiyama and Saori Ishibashi.

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