Kielce’s Hala Legionów was on Saturday full of the fighting spirit as the audience was cheering for 178 participants of the 7th World Karate Championships in Weight Categories in Kielce. The Polish delegation was particularly cheered. On the second day of the championships, Monika Zielińska will fight in the semifinal, while Marek Wolny, Maciej Mazur and Daniel Sternik will be part of men’s quarterfinals.
The 7th World Karate Championships in Kielce are a two-day-long event. On Saturday, they were launched with the performance by the Kielce Dance Theatre and the official presentation of national delegations. As the members of 40 national teams were walking on stage, they were accompanied by karate students from Kielce and the Świętokrzyskie region.
Subsequently, 178 world’s best karatekas began their fights. Most fans were cheering for the Polish team, but there was also a lot of support for the representatives of attacked Ukraine.
While in most battles the opponents had equal chances for winning, there were some spectacular moves and defeats in others. For instance, Marek Wolny of Tarnogórski Klub Sportowy Karate Shinkyokushin beat his rival with just one kick.
In the end, the Polish delegation will on Sunday be represented by Monika Zielińska and Maciej Mazur from Warsaw (Bielański Klub Kyokushin Karate), Marek Wolny from Tarnowskie Góry (Tarnogórski Klub Sportowy Karate) and Daniel Sternik from Konstancin-Jeziorna (Ippon Klub Karate Kyokushin).
– Japan’s strength is easily recognizable, its representatives are clearly very confident. The high level of karatekas from Ukraine, Lithuania and Azerbaijan has also been confirmed. For me, I was particularly impressed by the excellent preparation and many wins by South Africa – shihan Remigiusz Karpiński, the President of Polish Shinkyokushinkai Karate Federation, says. – There’s a lot of emotions. The fans are surely an additional player who contributes energy and strength. The applause and shouts are definitely driving the contestants’ efforts – he adds.
– Monika and Maciej confirmed their skill level, their strength. They were the favourites, while I consider Daniel Sternik and Marek Wolny’s wins as surprises. In the past, Marek had won many awards, but his fight today was very tough and he was facing a favourite. Therefore, it makes me even happier and prouder that he managed to come out victorious – shihan Bogdan Lubos, the coach of Poland’s national team, claims. – Now there are only the Sunday fights ahead. It will be incredibly difficult to win a medal, the competition is exceptionally stiff this year. So let’s keep our fingers crossed for them. I am hoping for the same effect as today, meaning that the fans’ support will carry them to victory – shihan Lubos adds.
The audience, although generally enthusiastic, was clearly disappointed with some of the referees’ decisions. This was particularly visible during the fights of Marta Lubos from Tarnowskie Góry (Tarnogórski Klub Sportowy Karate) and Igor Lamot from Wrocław (Klub Kyokushin Karate im. Masutatsu Oyamy).
On Sunday, at 11, the second day of the championships will officially begin. Quarterfinals, semifinals and finals in both male and female categories will take place.
Monika Zielińska remains part of the fight for the trophy of the world champion in the category of over 60kg. In the semifinal, she’ll face Japan’s Yuna Mokudai.
In the male weight category of over 85kg, Poland’s Marek Wolny and Maciej Mazur will face Lithuania’s Eventas Gužauskas and Edgard Sečinski respectively. Daniel Sternik will, in turn, fight Japan’s Tenshin Sawai as part of the race for men’s 65kg category championship.
Tickets are available in Hala Legionów. You can also access our live broadcasts here: World Karate Championships in Kielce