It was a premiere for the WKF: At the European Evening of Sport, Karate was allowed to present itself as the only sport to take part. The WKF Commissioner for Olympic and Paralympic affairs, Wolfgang Weigert, made this possible. Right after the presentation of the European Games by the Azerbaijan sports minister Azad Rahimov, preceded by a brilliant speech of the President of the European Parliament Mr. Martin Schulz, the Belgian Vice Wheelchair World Champion Virginie Delrez, the German Kata Vice World Champion Ilja Smorguner and his coach Michael Schölz made a impressive demonstration which was rewarded with a long lasting applause by the audience.
Deeply impressed by our karatekas were Mr. Patrick Hickey, President of the European Olympic Committees and IOC-EB Member, as well as Claudia Bokel, Chairman of the IOC Athletes Commisson and IOC-EB Member.
The WKF President Antonio Espinós was so able to bring karate closer to such an important audience in an emphatic way. He summed up this event in one sentence “This was another important step in our way to the Olympic programme”.