Damián Quintero was crowned Olympic kata runner-up in karate

Damián Quintero was crowned Olympic kata runner-up in karate

The Japanese Ryo Kiyuna, with a display of physical strength, he won the gold medal in kata at the Tokyo Olympic Games by defeating in the final the Spanish Damián Quintero, his rival for so many years and who, despite losing in the decisive event, was enormously happy with his silver medal, which he had secured in the morning qualifying rounds.

Kiyuna obtained 28.72 points with the kata ‘Ohan Dai’ and Quintero 27.66 with ‘Suparinpei’, two exercises of very different styles with which each one tried to counteract the imaginary weapons of his opponent.

The bronze medals went to the American Ariel Torres and the Turkish Ali Sofuoglu.

The final was witnessed by the Minister of Culture and Sports, Miquel Iceta, and by the president of the Spanish Olympic Committee, Alejandro Blanco.

After Sandra Sánchez’s victory over Kiyou Shimizu in the women’s final on Thursday, the Nippon Budokan was filled with flags and the colors of Japan’s uniform to support Kiyuna, world champion and disappeared from international competition since the pandemic allowed return to the calendar, focused only on training.

In the final he earned the same high marks from the judges as in the qualifying rounds.

He surpassed Quintero both in technique (20.02 by 19.32) and in physical performance (8.70 by 8.34) and the result of the last World Cup was repeated, the one played in Madrid in 2018.

The man from Malaga born in Bueno Aires celebrated the silver with effusiveness and tremendous joy and distributed and received hugs by the dozen. A totally different attitude from that of the Japanese Shimizu after falling the day before to Sandra Sánchez, when she was unable to smile on the podium.

The Spanish Olympic final was actually in the morning session, in which he successfully dominated his two qualifying rounds.

In the initial he finished first in group A after presenting the katas ‘Kururunfa’ and ‘Ohan Dai’ that gave him an average score of 27.37 points.

Ryo Kiyuna also finished at the head of his group, B, in principle more demanding because he coincided with the Turkish Ali Sofuoglu, third seeded, and the Venezuelan Antonio Díaz, fourth.

Kiyuna’s kata received 28.33 points on average.

The superiority of the Japanese was extended to the next round, in which the classified had to do one more kata to decide the crosses for the medals. Quintero achieved a 27.28 and Kiyuna a 28.72, both with an ‘Anan Dai’.

In the final, Kiyuna once again exceeded 28 points, a barrier behind which the Olympic title was forced. Thanks to his victory, the Japanese anthem sounded for the first time in the Nippon Budoka, sanctuary of martial arts, in the competition of karate, a sport born in this country.

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