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UAE picks up runners-up spot in karate event

Dubai: Hosts UAE took the runners-up spot behind Egypt in the overall medal standings while Al Ahli, Dubai emerged the best club at the end of the third Al Ahli Dubai International Karate Open Championships that concluded here late on Sunday.

The UAE fighters completed the four-day competition with 29 medals including 10 gold, eight silver and 11 bronze even as Egypt topped the standings for the third year running with 44 medals that included 13 gold, 12 silver and 19 bronze. Kuwait was third best with 19 medals, of which seven were gold, five silver and another seven bronze.

The UAE had won five medals at the end of the first day and then added another 15 on the second day of the competition. On the last two days, fighters from the UAE signed off with another three gold medals, one silver and five bronze to walk away as the second-best country in the competition.

On the final day, the UAE’s gold medals came from Omar Kemloglu in the individual kumite for senior men under-67kgs, Ahmad Al Swafy in the individual kata senior men and the team gold for the senior women’s team of Faten Aissa, Heba Saleh, Ala’a Saif and Yasmin Hamdy.

Fighters from the host club Al Ahli also fared well in picking up the best haul among individual clubs with 25 medals in the competition. Al Rowdah Club from Egypt were second with 15 medals and the MFK-1 Academy from Moscow third with 12.

France too signed off strongly on the final day taking all four of their gold medals. Sandy Scordo won the individual kata for senior women ahead of Sandra Sanchez of Spain and Randa Abdul Aziz of Egypt, while Fatah Sebbak took the gold in the individual kata in the mixed category ahead of the German duo of Marvin Noeltge and Michael Lesic.

The other two gold medals for France came from Alexandra Recchia as she defeated Turkey’s Tuba Yakan in the individual kumite for senior women under-55kgs, while teammate Lucie Ignace picked up gold after beating Ece Yasar of Turkey 6-1 in the final of the individual kumite for senior women under-61kgs.

“Whether it is Al Ahli or the other UAE winners, the results speak for themselves,” Mohammad Abbas, chief organiser of the competition, told Gulf News. “This just shows that everyone involved has put in a lot of effort in achieving this success.

“The backing from the club management has been fantastic as they know what it means to support individual disciplines. This is definitely going to be a huge boost for karate in upcoming international competitions including the Asian Games in South Korea.”

Nasser Abdul Razak Al Razooki, President, UAE Taekwondo and Karate Federation (UAE TKF), presented the awards with Daej Al Raisi, Vice President, UAE TKF at the end of the competition.

Fact Box

MEDALS TALLY

Countries

Egypt 13 12 19 44

UAE 10 8 11 29

Kuwait 7 5 7 19

Russia 4 5 5 14

France 4 1 0 5

Clubs

Al Ahli 8 7 10 25

Al Rowda, Egypt 7 4 4 15

MFK-1, Moscow 4 5 3 12