Objava: 05.05.2016 | 22:58 Continental Championships
France’s powerful delegation seized the opportunity of competing at home and achieved a successful first day of competition in the 2016 Karate European Championships being held in Montpellier. Six of the finals which were decided on Thursday will have a representation of the host country, thus guaranteeing that local Karate fans will have plenty of heroes to follow in the title-deciding clashes.
Alexandra Recchia confirmed her star status and stormed to the final of Female Kumite -50kg after presenting a powerful demonstration of will and efficiency. The current European championship runner-up clinched three convincing victories and dominated through her participation in the competition thus securing her third final in continental championships.
“I am very happy! It was my first goal, to be in the final; my second goal is to win gold,” said Alexandra Recchia. “I am not satisfied with my performance though. I was too relaxed in my first fight and I didn’t feel all that good. Then my coach worked with me, and it was better in my later fights,” added the 27-years old French idol.
Alexandra Recchia will clash in the gold medal match against long time ‘frenemy’ Turkish Serap Ozcelik. The two stars present one of the most thrilling rivalries of current Karate, but surprisingly they are as good friends as they are adversaries on the tatami.
“I am very glad that I am fighting Serap. It will be a very good final,” said Recchia.
The French’s domination in the race towards the medals started with local heroine Sandy Scordo in Female Kata. The current world runner-up upset Turkey’s Dilara Bozan to reach her fourth final in senior continental championships and paved the way to the glorious day for host country.
“I feel great! I have gone through an intensive preparation and I managed to put in place all that I have been working on. This morning I made Katas that really helped me get into the competition and they gave me good feelings and good energy. After the team competition, I will start focusing on the individual final and I hope that I will perform well in front of my friends and my family,” said Sandy Scordo.
Scordo’s ticket to the final in Female Kata was followed by compatriot Vu Duc Minh Dack‘s qualification to the title-deciding clash in Male Kata. The 2015 European championships bronze medallist will meet Spain’s Damian Quintero, who also showcased their outstanding level during the competition. The Spanish Karate Star aims at his third gold medal in the category and confirmed his condition of favourite in the category.
“I am very pleased that I made it to my sixth final. We had done a very intensive preparation for our first big goal of the season, which is the European Championships and I am glad that I could qualify to fight for the gold medal,” said Damian Quintero.
Big day for Karate Stars
The first day of competition in Montpellier was also a momentous journey towards the medals for some of the biggest fan favourites. Azerbaijan’s hero Rafael Aghayev presented a spectacular performance and set the course to increase his outstanding tally of eight gold medals in European Championsh. The 31 years old Karate Star will clash for gold against Turkey’s Erman Eltemur in one highlight of the final days of competition.
Italy’s Sara Cardin aims at her third continental title following a convincing performance in Female Kumite -55 Kg. The current world champion dominated in her combats and will meet Ukraine’s Anzhelika Terlyuga in the final.
In Female Kumite -68 kg, Austria’s Alisa Buchinger will try to claim her third gold medal in major international events this season following her victories in Karate 1-Premier League in Salzburg and in Karate 1-World Cup in Lasko.
The thrilling 2016 Karate European Championships will continue Friday with the second day of the tournament. The Male and Female Team Kata competitions and the Male and Female Team Kumite competitions will take the stage in Montpellier Arena.
Click here for a calendar of the second day of competition.
Follow the action of European Karate Championships on WKF Social Media. Karate fans are invited to participate in the excitement using the hashtag #EuroKarate2016.