Spain dominated the first Virtus Para-Karate competition

By Alisha Bramhall for Virtus 

History has been made!

Karate made its debut at Virtus competitions today at the Virtus global games! A great atmosphere was built up in the Crepes ready to see the fantastic athletes compete for the first event time. All athletes showed exceptional skills and performance at the games and Spain took two out of the four gold medals offered at the first-ever Virtus karate event.

Lucia Sanchez at GG2023. Copyright Virtus. Photo Credit: Luc Percival

In K21, Carlos Huertas and Lucia Sanchez took home the gold for Spain in the K21 competition, defeating Albert Singer (GER) and Oliva Kakosy (HUN) with their incredible performance. Talking to Virtus, Sanchez said,

I felt good to be taking home the gold medal for her country and want to thank my family and trainer for supporting me throughout my journey.”

In Women’s K22, Natalie Olson (CAN) had an outstanding performance and topped the podium. Talking to Virtus, Natalie mentioned having ‘a lot of experience’ which helped her take home the gold medal from Vichy 2023. The Canadian coach shared her enthusiastic words about having karate at the Global Games for the first time.

It’s wonderful to have karate included in the global games and it has been a wonderful experience for all the athletes. We cannot wait to see karate in the future Global Games.”

Matta Allesina (ITA). Copyright Virtus. Photo Credit: Luc Percival

In Mens K22, Matta Allesina (ITA) performed highly at the event and won the first karate gold medal for his country. Matta described his experience as ‘magical’ and wanted to share his gold medal appreciation with his whole team and trainers that have helped him get to this moment.

Para Karate Chairperson from WKF, Dušana Čierna Augustovičová was delighted to be present during the competition and said, 

The WKF’s signed the MOU with Virtus in 2020 and has followed the Virtus sports classification system in WKF competitions since then. I feel so satisfied and thankful that we could work together with Virtus to provide such an amazing opportunity for athletes here in Vichy 2023 where they can meet other athletes from different sports. It was an outstanding event for the elite II athletes. “

Para-karate is a fast-developing inclusive sport with an excellent base in national federations. This is reflected in the ever-increasing participation of competitors in competitions. The GG2023 was a milestone for intellectually impaired karatekas and we wish to keep working closely with Virtus to further enhance the programme,” she added further.

A great first-time event of Karate at the Global Games 2023 and the experience has been one to remember with all the talented athletes, supportive teams and spectators. This is the first time and definitely will not be the last we see the amazing talent of karate.