Summer is coming soon, however, some of us (I mean karatekas) are having most difficult and most important period this year. World championship in Astana is taking place really soon. 7 weeks left and many fighters with teams will gather there. So now they are doing hard job. “They”? Yeah, all competitors were announced few weeks after European championship. 64 women in 4 categories and 128 men in 4 categories too. Best fighters from all continents. Who are they? Who are those strongest Europeans? Who can we be proud of, lovely Lithuania?

So.. New category in World championship in Women division. Europe has 4 fighters in -50 kg weight. Violeta Litovska from Bulgaria (2016 European champion), Sandra Nowak from Poland (2nd place in European championship this year) and two Lithuanians out of 4 competitors from Europe and out of 16 best from World! Justina Sisaite, who won 2nd place last year and Daiva Krisciuniene who was on the highest step on the podium this year! Japanese, Russians, girls from host country Kazakhstan.. Not easy task at all, but we can expect good results and surprises from Europeans too.

Next category is dedicated to Hungarian girls (if we talk about our continent 🙂 ). Two Hungarians and one Spanish fighter. Zsofia Szabo and Isis Pinila – two experienced athletes with stable good results for many years and one ambitious, young and really good Veronika Nemeth. These “Middleweight” ( 🙂 ) girls will have big competition and I can mention same countries as before. Few really good Japanese. Emma Markwell from KWU. However, I expect (and not only me) that our Europeans will show great results.

-60 kg is the category of Lithuanians 🙂 Said strong? Well, yeah, but it’s not my fault that all 3 fighters from Europe are from Lithuania 🙂 And all of them are really top fighters, all of them reached great results in open weight World championship in Japan, all of them were in Top 8 list. So it’s really logical that we expect best results from them in July. No one is saying that it will be easy – will be very hard, however, expectations are high.

Last category +60kg. Half year ago we expected to see Szepesi Csenge and many of us already “saw” her on the podium in advance 🙂 Situation changed and now we have 3 Europeans in the list – 2 Lithuanians and 1 Swedish fighter. Nora Vaznelyte, Monika Ryzkovaite and Sara Hagge are representing their countries and Europe. And? Huge competition with such names as Emi Shoguchi, Misaki Sato and other fighter from different countries.

Men. -65 kg. Due to the fact that I am so proud to announce Lithuanians in almost each category now I am not so happy 🙂 7 Europeans, however, no Lithuanians in this category. Firstly, I must mention that we have 2 fighters from Azerbaijan – this country is showing better and better results each year and this time Valeh Jafarov and Emin Ismayili will represent Azerbaijan and Europe in World championship. Other fighters in light wegiht category from Europe – Andrei Zinchenko from Georgia, Georgi Lotarov from Bulgaria, Taras Havrylets from Ukraine, Kondrad Kozubowski from Poland and Karczub Zalan from Hungary.

Next category has 6 fighters from Europe in World championship and all of these fighter are from eastern or southeastern Europe too. 2 Georgian guys who won 3rd places in two last European championships will take part in middle weight category – Mikheil Tsiklauri and Tengiz Bastgoiani. I am proud of Andrius Miseckas who got the right to take part in Astana this year. Good luck to Salahat Hasanov from Azerbaijan, champion of 2016 European championship, Oleksandr Svynarenko from Ukraine and George Suciu from Romania.

Heavy weight with 2 Lithuanians, 2 fighters from Azerbaijan, Romanian and Georgian. They are representing Europe and all of them are really experienced and show highest results in different tournaments. Valdemaras Gudauskas, our young superstar, and Vytautas Cepla, calm and smart fighter, Marius Ilas, many times champion with amazing technique, Mubariz Agamaliyev, Yasir Mammadov and Levan Verulidze. Will be interesting 🙂

Good news that this is not end 🙂 But super heavy weight will be updated later 🙂

So.. Still some time left, good luck in preparation period 🙂

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Photos by pufasfoto.lt