The road to the 2020 Olympics just got a lot more interesting, thanks in large part due to the Karate 1-Premier League. Taking place in Dubai, the tournament started off with a number of dominant athletes advancing.

Medal bouts will be taking place on Sunday, February 16.  For our followers in the MENA region, the event is available on the FIGHT SPORTS MAX app. 

In our first major result, Sandra Sanchez of Spain earning a score of 27.94, crushing her way into the finals. The United States will be looking for gold as Sanchez faces off against Sakura Kokumai, who scored 25.42 to advance.

In other action, Angelo Crescenzo will face Darkhan Assadilov for gold in Male Kumite -60kg. Cescenzo is hoping for another medal win following an impressive performance. The Italian earned a 5-0 score over Orges Arifi of Albania during the semi-final stage. Assadilov of Mazakhstan beat Christos-Stefanos Xenos in his semi-final bout 4-2.

World Champion Steven Da Costa of France beat Burak Uygur of Turkey following a scoreless bout in the semi-finals. The under 67kg kumite fight was scored in favor of him. Da Costa will now face Vinicius Figueira. The two faced off in the 2018 World Championship final, where Da Costa won.

World Champion Bahman Ghoncheh of Iran lost the opportunity to compete in the finals of the men’s under-75kg division. He lost to Azerbaijan’s Rafael Aghayev 3-0. Facing Aghayev is Italy’s Luigi Busa, who won 3-1 in the semi-finals against Yermek Ainazarov of Kazakhstan.

Other results from the day:

– Serap Ozcelik Arapoglu of Turkey will be going to the finals for the second consecutive year. She won the under-50kg kumite event against Austria’s Bettina Plank. Arapoglu’s opponent for the finals will be Nadia Gomez Morales, who won 5-2 over Morocco’s Aicha Sayah. Morales is an under-21 world champion.

– In the women’s under-55kg final, Tasmin Attia of Egypt, who won 2-0 in her semi-final, will face off against the Ukraine’s Anzhelika Terliuga, who won 2-0 over her opponent.

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