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Karate Canada – Rotterdam, March 20th, 2017 – Over the weekend, a number of Canadian National Team Roster members were in Rotterdam, Netherlands, for the Dutch Open Karate-1 Championships, which were held from March 17th-19th. Although no official delegation was sent by Karate Canada, the athletes were accompanied by Senior National Team Head Kumite Coach Nassim Varasteh. A total of 1175 athletes from 73 countries around the world competed in this event. This weekend event saw a number of spirited performances on the part of Canadian athletes, with three top-10 finishes, including two silver medals.

In women’s kumite, Haya Jumaa, of Ontario, won her first four matches in the -61 kg category, defeating along the way a rival from Ukraine who is currently 4th in the world ranking; she ultimately took the silver medal, defeated in the final by Xiaoyan Yin of China, currently ranked 7th in the World Karate Federation. In the -55kg category, Valentyna Zolotarova, of British Columbia, lost her third match against eventual silver Alesandra Hasani of Croatia, eventually placing 9th in repechage.

In men’s kumite. Daniel Gaysinsky, of Ontario, dominated his first four matches in the +84kg division, including a 4-1 win over a 2014 World Champion from Georgia,  before losing in the final match to Jonathan Horne of Germany, currently ranked 4th in the World Karate Federation. Daniel led the match 4-1, but was unfortunately disqualified in the last minute of the match, finishing with a silver medal. Sarmen Sinani won his first match in the -84kg division, losing his second to Anes Congo of Bosnia & Herzegovina.

In women’s kata, Rita Ngo, of British Columbia, won her first two matches before losing to Gema Morales of Spain. In men’s kata, Toshihide Uchiage, also of British Columbia, won his first two matches, losing to eventual silver medalist Damian Quintero of Spain (who was a silver medalist at the latest WKF World Championships); he placed 11th in repechage.

The 2017 Dutch Open is an important preparation event on the road to the next summer Olympic Games, taking place in Tokyo 2020. Karate Canada President Craig Vokey stated that “Karate Canada is focused on bringing athletes to Tokyo in 2020. This is the second K1 event this season where Athletes representing Canada earned podium finishes. With the increased level of world competition, this bodes well for the future.”

About Karate Canada:

Karate Canada is a not-for-profit corporation constituted under Part II of the Canada Corporations Act, with the objective of describing and incorporating all activities related to the promotion, organization, regulation and popularization of the sport of karate all over Canada, of protecting the physical and emotional health of athletes, and of promoting the interests of karate throughout Canada. Karate Canada and its 10 member Provincial and Territorial Associations assemble roughly 16,000 participants nationwide. Furthermore, Karate Canada is a proud member of the Canadian Olympic Committee, the World Karate Federation and the Pan American Karate Federation. See more at www.karatecanada.org.