The following was written by the World Karate Federation and published here in its entirety.
The 2019 European Karate Championships were officially inaugurated Friday with an opening ceremony that showcased the unity of the sport in its claims of Paris 2024 inclusion. Over 500 athletes participating at the event posed with a shirt that read "Karate Olympic Sport" to request the Organising Committee of the Olympic Games Paris 2024 the rectification of the decision to exclude Karate from the list of the proposed additional sports for 2024.
"This event is a milestone in the history of European Karate. First of all, it is a step forward towards Tokyo 2020 and it is the main qualification tournament for the 2019 European Games. Besides, it gives us the opportunity to demonstrate that we are all together in our goal of achieving the inclusion in Paris 2024," said EKF and WKF President Antonio Espinós.
"With this demonstration of unity today, with our many values, with our excellence in event organisation and in governance, and with our unparalleled popularity all over the world, we prove that we deserve to stay as an Olympic sport. Karate is an Olympic sport," added Mr Espinós.
History of the sport was being written today when over 500 karatekas competing at the 2019 EKF Karate Championships took the stage during the opening ceremony of the event. It was an image to be remembered by Karate fans as the 564 athletes walked on the tatamis of Pavillon Multisport sports hall in Guadalajara, all of them wearing the white shirts with the message "Karate Olympic Sport".
#KARATE2024 ON-GOING CAMPAIGN
This action was a further activation of the campaign which was launched by the World Karate Federation to request the inclusion of the sport in Paris 2024. The WKF initiated their claims with the still-on-going online digital campaign of #Karate2024 and the #TsukiForKarate2024 challenge, which has mobilised hundreds of Karate fans all over the world.
Further initiatives will be launched in the coming days as Karate is hoping that the decision - which the sport has defined as "unexpected and unfair" - will be reversed.
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