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Karate Canada – First Time a Series A Event is Held in North America!

Montreal, May 29, 2019 – Karate Canada prepares to greet the world’s karate elite in Montreal, at the 2019 WKF Karate-1 Series A event, the first hosted in North America by the World Karate Federation (WKF). This senior Karate-1 competition will be held June 21st to 23rd at the Claude-Robillard Sports Complex and will form part of the qualification calendar for the Tokyo 2020 Games, where the sport will make its Olympic debut.

Over 750 top Olympic contenders from more than 75 countries are registered, including current U21 and Senior National Team athletes and coaches. Several reigning or recent World, European, Asian and Pan American karate champions are expected to attend.

Canada has hosted major international karate tournaments in the past, such as the 2011 Pan American Junior Championships, the 2013 Commonwealth Championships and the 2015 Pan American Senior Championships. The level of this upcoming competition in Montreal, however, is without precedent in North America.

“This is an important step for our national federation. It demonstrates the strength of our athletes and of our organization. This event, one of four in the A Series, will bring together karatekas from across the country. It will be a fantastic opportunity for them to perform at the international level on Canadian soil. It will also be a great opportunity for athletes from all over the continent to try to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games,” stated Craig Vokey, president of Karate Canada.

Quebec’s Daphné Trahan-Perreault, kata specialist, agrees. “It is a source of pride for us to host this event in Canada. Previously, our country was not necessarily known for its accomplishments in karate, but we’re slowly  starting to make our mark on the competition circuit. It’s nice to be able to help Canada stake its place on the international stage.”

The competition will be held in collaboration with Karaté Québec, and the federation has strongly encouraged all of the province’s eligible athletes to participate.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to promote karate within the province. It’s also a chance for local karatekas to experience an event like this at a lower cost. In Europe, high-level international competitions are held almost every week. For the price of a $100 train or plane ticket, athletes can compete in those events and be home by Sunday night, without any jet lag, which is not the case for North Americans,” added Danny Morin, president of Karaté Québec.

For the Canadians who participate in the Montreal event, this will be a golden opportunity to demonstrate to family and friends that they have what it takes to compete with the best athletes in the world.

“I can’t wait! It’s incredible that an international competition of this magnitude will be held at home the year before the Olympics,” said New Brunswick’s Kathryn Campbell, Kumite -55 kg athlete. “I remember the 2015 Pan American Games. They were incredible! It was one of the highlights of my career. Having the support of my fellow Canadians was
really special and I feel privileged to have experienced it.”

The Road to Tokyo 2020

The 2020 Olympic Games will mark a great moment in the history of karate, since the sport will be part of the competition programme at last.

The Montreal 2019 event will therefore be an important one for Canadians who dream of claiming the title of “Olympian”. Participants will collect points for the overall WKF ranking, which will determine who qualifies for a pass to Tokyo.

“Young people who see us will be motivated to pursue karate. It’s another step forward for Canadians who dream of participating in the Olympic Games,” concluded Quebec’s Nicolas Bisson, Kumite -60 kg athlete.

Media are invited to attend the event to meet these Canadian Olympic hopefuls. All action takes place at the Claude-Robillard Sports Complex, 1000 Avenue Émile-Journault. The Opening Ceremony will take place Friday, June 21st at 8am, with preliminary round action all day Friday and Saturday from 8:30am to 9pm. Bronze medal bouts are on Sunday from 9am-12:30pm with finals and medal ceremonies taking place on Sunday from 3pm-6pm.

Admission tickets are available at:

https://www.tickettailor.com/events/karatecanada/249001

This project is funded by the Government of Canada and by the Government of Quebec, and benefits from the financial support of Tourisme Montréal and of the City of Montreal.
(The list of Team Canada Members at the 2019 WKF Karate-1 Series A is attached.)

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 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.

Media Inquiries: For information:
Sylvie Bigras Cheryl Tataryn
Media Relations Events Manager
613-298-1625 514-252-3209
sylvie@magma.ca Cheryl.tataryn@karatecanada.org