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Karate Canada – Umag, Croatia – July 4th, 2016 – Canada’s junior national karate team is celebrating its strong showing at the World Youth Cup, held in Umag, Croatia, from July 1st-3rd, 2016. A total of 40 Junior National Team Roster athletes (accompanied by 7 support staff and 2 Officials) competed over the weekend, including 4 Youth division athletes (ages 12-13). This is the first time athletes in this age category have competed as part of Karate Canada’s national team program.

In kata, Melissa Bratic received a bronze medal in the Junior Female category, while Khyber Barnett placed 5th in the Junior Male category. In the U21 Female category, Claudia Laos-Loo landed a silver medal, while Hana Furumoto-Deshaies finished in 7th place.

Canadian female kumite athletes saw significant success. Melissa Chan won gold in the Junior -48 kg category, while Melissa Bratic took the bronze in the Junior 59+ kg category. Parvin Mayan placed 7th in the Junior -59 kg category. In the U21 division, Camélie Boisvenue earned a silver medal in the +68 kg category, while Isabel Chan received a bronze medal in the -50 kg category, and Ethan Strohbach finished in 5th place in the -68 kg division.

Male kumite athletes also performed well. One of Canada’s first Youth division athletes competing internationally, Loïc Cloutier, placed 7th in Youth kumite, in the

-40 kg category. In the Cadet division, Sunny Heer placed 5th in the -52 kg category, while Riley Deveau placed 9th in the -57 kg category. Gari Zipenco finished in 5th place in the Junior -55 kg category. Finally, in the U21 division, Nathaniel Besso earned a bronze medal in the -60 kg category.

Over the course of the weekend, Canadian athletes earned seven medals, as part of a total of fifteen top 10 finishes in both kata and kumite. The Junior National Team program continues with an upcoming National Training Camp in Toronto, where team selection will be finalized for the upcoming 2016 Cadet & Junior Pan American Karate Championships (Guayaquil, Ecuador, end of August). A number of young karate athletes have their sights set on the probable inclusion of karate in the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, which will be held in Tokyo, Japan.

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 11 member Provincial and Territorial Associations assemble over 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