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Karate Canada – Canadian National Team Roster members were in Paris, France, for the 2018 Paris WKF Premier League Karate-1 Championships, which were held from January 26th-28th. The Canadian team’s delegation included 11 athletes, accompanied by two coaches, four Canadian officials, and Karate Canada President Mr. Craig Vokey. This year’s edition of this elite event marks the first time that attendance was restricted to the top 100 athletes in each individual division, establishing the initial pool of athletes who will be vying for future qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Team Canada athlete Kenneth Lee finished with an impressive 7th place in the Male Individual Kata division, a particularly challenging division.

Karate Canada’s Executive Director Olivier Pineau commented that “while some of our usual top performers were not competing at this event or did not advance in the rankings as hoped, results such as the top 7 finish by Kenneth Lee (one of our Team 2020 program-targeted athletes and a Tokyo 2020 Olympic hopeful) are very encouraging, especially since this was the first edition of a new and more competitive formula for the World Karate Federation’s Karate-1 Premier League events, assembling a maximum of 64 of the world’s top 100 ranked athletes in each division. This was a very beneficial experience and a great way to start the year for our participating National Team athletes, who will take home several very useful lessons from this event and implement key training adjustments for success when the Olympic qualification process kicks off this summer. This will be a busy year, with many more top-level competitive opportunities on the horizon, culminating in Senior World Championships this fall. Team Canada will be ready as we ramp things up towards the Tokyo Summer Games.”

Mr. Vokey also attended a special meeting held in Paris by the WKF to prepare for changes in a number of statutes confirmed at the world congress in October.

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.