2019 Karate 1-Premier League to continue mapping out journey to Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

(ATR) The World Karate Federation writes about its new 1-Premier League as it readies for a debut at Tokyo 2020.

JAPAN (OGAWA, SHIMIZU, UMEKAGE) in Senior Team Female Kata - Final bout
Photo taken during Karate-1 Premier League Tokyo 2018 in (Tokyo Budokan) on 14/10/2018. Event organized by World Karate Federation.
©2018 Xavier Servolle / Kphotos
JAPAN (OGAWA, SHIMIZU, UMEKAGE) in Senior Team Female Kata - Final bout Photo taken during Karate-1 Premier League Tokyo 2018 in (Tokyo Budokan) on 14/10/2018. Event organized by World Karate Federation. ©2018 Xavier Servolle / Kphotos

The following was written by the World Karate Federation and published here in its entirety.

The World Karate Federation presented the new edition of its flagship event, the Karate 1-Premier League. Karate’s first-class series of international tournaments endeavours to extend the success of top competitions of the sport after a memorable year as Karate continues getting ready to make its debut in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Featuring seven host cities in three continents, the 2019 Karate 1-Premier League is set to be the biggest yet. Major markets have been added while the tournaments are moving to bigger locations to accommodate the growing interest in the sport. Moscow (Russia), Shanghai (China) and Madrid (Spain) are the new additions to the 2019 calendar.

"The tremendous progress of Karate competitions is not only reflected in the growing popularity of our events; the rising interest among TV networks around the world, the increasing number of countries that are being represented in the tournaments, and the booming revenue that remains in the host cities support the success of our actions," declared WKF President Antonio Espinós.

The 2019 Karate 1-Premier League will begin in January in Paris (France), in one of Karate’s signature events. The competition will move to Dubai (UAE) in February while Rabat (Morocco) will continue being one of the highlights of the year with the tournament scheduled for April.

After the highly successful Karate 1-Series A event this year, Shanghai (China) will host the anticipated fourth stop of the season. The tournament to take place in June in the country’s biggest city is set to showcase the growing attraction of the sport in China.

As the debut of the discipline in the Olympic Games 2020 is getting closer and closer, Karate will once again display its tremendous popularity in Japan with a new edition of the Karate 1-Premier League Tokyo. The host city of the Olympic Games 2020 will welcome the tournament in September as a prelude to the Olympic test event to be held there on September 9th.

Two new host cities in two countries where Karate is extremely popular will wrap up the 2019 Karate 1-Premier League. Following the tremendous success of the EKF Cadet, Junior & U21 Championships in Sochi this year, Russia will receive another big Karate event in October 2019 to celebrate the fascination for Karate in the powerhouse nation of the sport.

After welcoming one of the biggest and most celebrated Karate events of all times, Madrid finds another chance to make its case as one of the world’s main hubs of the sport. The host city of the historic 2018 Karate World Championships will act as the venue of the closing tournament of the 2019 Karate 1-Premier League in November in the tournament where the Grand Winners will be crowned, among many other landmark moments.

In addition to new markets and bigger venues, the 2019 Karate 1-Premier League will introduce a modern and unified delivery of the events. Aiming to further increase the impact of the sport among its growing audience, all the tournaments of the 2019 Karate 1-Premier League will present a spectacular and updated competition lay-out. Following the success of the 2018 Karate World Championships, the presentation of the 2019 Karate 1-Premier League will focus on the sporting spirit of Karate and on the easy comprehension of the sport among fans.

Ultimately, the 2019 Karate 1-Premier League is the stage where the best karatekas in the world will meet. With the quest to earn the points to qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 intensifying, the stars of the sport need to succeed in the seven tournaments next year to make their Olympic dreams come true. Fans will look forward to memorable Kata showdowns and to electric Kumite bouts in an edition of the event set to mark a milestone for the sport.

"Since the Karate 1-Premier League is one of the competitions that attributes a higher number of points to the Olympic standings, we will experience unique sporting moments on the tatamis. I am sure that the seven Karate 1-Premier League in 2019 will be simply unforgettable," added WKF President Antonio Espinós.

2019 Karate 1-Premier League Calendar

January 25-27: Karate 1-Premier League Paris (France)

February 15-17: Karate 1-Premier League Dubai (UAE)

April 19-21: Karate 1-Premier League Rabat (Morocco)

June 7-9: Karate 1-Premier League Shanghai (China)

September 6-8: Karate 1-Premier League Tokyo (Japan)

October 4-6: Karate 1-Premier League Moscow (Russia)

November 29-December 1: Karate 1-Premier League Madrid (Spain)

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