Montpellier, France, May 8, 2016. The thrilling 2016 Karate European Championships ended Sunday with a final day of competition that crowned France and Spain as dominating forces of continental Karate. French heroes Alexandra Recchia and Steven Dacosta, and Spanish aces such as Damian Quintero and Sandra Sanchez, among others, helped the two neighbouring countries to rule the final standings of the brilliant competition held in Montpellier.
The last day of the tournament was centered on team categories; France in Male Team Kata and Male Team Kumite, and Spain and Azerbaijan in Female Team Kata and Female Team Kumite, respectively, claimed the last gold medals at stake.
After meeting in the finals of Male and Female Individual Kata, the title-deciding contest of Male Team Kata was another showdown between French and Spanish squads. Representatives of the host country avenged the two defeats suffered on Saturday and reached the top of the podium after brilliantly completing their Kata, thus signing the fifth of the six gold medals for the organisers of the tournament.
The French delegation wrapped up a sensational championship with a remarkable last day, as the hosts also won in Male Team Kumite. The local squad had to wait to the last seconds of the closing combat to beat Turkey in a disputed and electric final. The crowning of France as the best team in Kumite represented the final impulse for host nation to end the event in top position of the final standings, with a tally of six gold, two silver and three bronze medals.
Spaniards could make up for the defeat in Male Team Kata and claimed gold in Female Team Kata. The Spanish ladies beat Germany and clinched the third gold of their fourth medals in Kata competitions, thus reigning in the category in this event.
Azerbaijan also confirmed their status of European power and completed the gold medal achieved by superstar Rafael Aghayev on Saturday with the victory in the Female Team Kumite competition. The Azeri ladies beat Croatia in the final thus preventing the Balkan team to clinch two consecutive gold medals in European Championships.
Karate Stars shining in an event to remember
Karate fans had the opportunity to enjoy a last day of competition that served as the perfect continuation of the first series of finals on Saturday. Some of the biggest European Karate Stars were crowned in Montpellier, much to the delight of Karate enthusiasts worldwide.
Azerbaijan’s ace Rafael Aghayev claimed his ninth gold medal in European Championships in an impressive demonstration of domination. France’s Alexandra Recchia confirmed her status of one of the leading Karate Stars in her country after winning her second gold medal in European championships and contributing to the bronze medal in Female Team Kumite.
Despite his defeat in the final day, Damian Quintero was also inducted as one of the big winners of the event, following his silver medal in Team Kata, and his second consecutive gold medal in Individual Kata in European Championships.
Italy’s Sara Cardin with her third gold medal in continental championships and Turkish delegation with the biggest tally of medals of the tournament with 12 awards also registered notable performances in the memorable event.
Watch all the action, interviews and great videos of the 2016 Karate European Championships on WKF YouTube Channel. The best pictures and all the information of the event are on WKF’s Instagram and Facebook pages.