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Karate Canada – Two Fifth-Place Finishes in Rotterdam for Canadian Karateka

Rotterdam, March 19th, 2018 – Over the weekend, a number of Canadian National Team Roster members were in Rotterdam, Netherlands, for the Dutch Open Premier League Karate-1 Championships, which were held from March 16th-18th. The athletes were accompanied by National Team Kata Head Coach Katarina Vadovicova and Senior National Team Assistant Kumite Coach Kraig Devlin. A total of 702 athletes from 74 countries around the world competed in this event. This weekend event saw a number of spirited performances on the part of Canadian athletes, with two fifth-place finishes.

In women’s kata, Rita Ngo (7th at the latest Senior World Championships), of British Columbia finished in fifth place. Ngo won her first three matches, including one against repeat Pan American Champion Sakura Kokumai of the USA, before being defeated by the eventual silver medallist from Japan, Emiri Iwamoto (3rd in the world ranking); after winning her first match in repechage, she lost the bronze medal match to Grace Lau Mo Sheung of Hong Kong, who is currently ranked 5th in the world in this division. 
In women’s kumite, Melissa Bratic, of Ontario, placed fifth in the -68 kg category, defeating along the way Katrine Pedersen, a rival from Denmark who was the silver medalist in this division at the latest Senior World Championships; she was later defeated in a very close bronze medal match by Halyna Melnyk of Ukraine.. In the -55kg category, Kathryn Campbell, of New Brunswick, lost her third match (due to first point advantage, after a tied score) against Émilie Thouy of France, who is the reigning World Champion in this division.  

In men’s kumite. Nicolas Bisson, of Quebec, dominantly won his first three matches in the -60kg category, before losing to the reigning U21 World Champion Yugo Kazako of Japan.

The 2018 Rotterdam Premier League K1 was an important preparation event on the road to the next summer Olympic Games, taking place in Tokyo 2020.

“Our team’s performances in Rotterdam are a testament to the sustained growth and progress of our National Team programs in both kata (forms) and kumite (sparring),“ says Karate Canada’s Executive Director Olivier Pineau. “It’s exciting to see new Canadian talent emerging on the Senior international stage, further confirming the depth of our pool of elite athletes, and showing the increasing readiness not only of our top Tokyo 2020 medal hopefuls, but also of our next generation of athletes, who will assure continued international contention well beyond the 2020 Games.“

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