12th World Karate Championship

Closing in to the greatest event, keeping the full contact Karate tradition alive: A World Tournament in Open Weight – the excitement raises and we are looking forward to see great fighters go up against each other. It would be hard to tell how many of the fights will turn out – but we will at least take a little closer look at the fighters, the draw and maybe also get to “know” some new fighters as well..  as one say: ladies first.. C/D block Remember: it is only speculation – based on previous records and fight.. We appreciate and warmly welcome when fighters disprove our speculation 🙂

The C block starts with the best fighter from the European region -Inga Mikštaitė / Lithuania. Mikštaitė got superb record, but it is notable that in WKO she hasn’t manage to go all the way regarded to World Championships. Best is 3rd place in WT with weight categories. Will face winner of Aiala Garcia / Spain vs Alena Kushnareva / Russia. Garcia with her strongest achievement this summer, 2nd in the EC Open Weight, as Kushnareva on the Russian championship this spring. hard to predict, but up against a fresh Mikštaitė it will really be hard.

If Mikštaitė advances as many believe, we think she will be up against Riri Ishihara. Canadian fighter Kimm Carriere must deliver more than she are used to, facing a Japanese fighter at home soil at the caliber of Ishihara who came in 2nd in the 5th All Japan Open. Last World Championship, Mikštaitė lost to a another Japanese fighter, Minamihara, in the second round. This could be a point to get even – or the history could repeated. Can the veteran outsmart the almost 20 years younger fighter, or will the pace and speed count in favor of the up and coming home-fighter. Time will show – but we must admit that we lean a little towards the younger fighter.

One of the next five that possible can face Ishihara, are hard to tell, because here we see many good fighters. Ioanna Belykh /Kazakhstan vs Aneta Meskauskiene / Lithuania. They met in KWU WT 2015, 10 kg/year in between. Belykh really “grown up” in the fighting game, and have proved to be a top fighter. But we think Meskauskiene has been stepping up her game lately, coming into the Lithuanian team, more fights at a high level, and has also adapted into the differences in the way of fighting/ judging from earlier, other tournaments/org. Should be able to take it – Belykh can take it. Photo: Algimantas Barzdžius

But more top fighters that can be counted in. Ekaterina Fursova / Russia vs Monika Zielińska / Poland – Top Russia vs top Europe. Zielińska with superb kicking-skills vs the intensity of Fursova. We think this one will be intense, and a aggressor on top of that is 2 minutes will go fast – quick decision in the opening rounds. If Zielińska can find and maybe control the distance, her kicks and reach will be a challenge for Fursova. It could be a battle of the styles, but Zielińska can also mix punches and dangerous knees – this can tip her into the next fight with Momo Fujihara / Japan

Momo Fujihara will be one of the top contenders, did a very strong 5th JFKO All Japan Open tournament this spring, ended 2nd after great performance. In this tournament she defeated multiply World Champion Misaki Sato with a 5-0 victory. Strong – but do also have high pace an intensity to match more or less all fighters that she meets. We would not be totally surprised if she advances trough the 1st and 2nd round – and challenges the upper part of the block. That could be Mikštaitė or teammate Ishihara – if we follow the most merited fighters. Fujihara will challenge everyone, that indicate that see could be facing “winner” of the last block D.

In the last block we got some really interesting set ups. Top Japanese fighters, top European fighters – and top Russian fighters. Last time 4th place holder Yui Kikukawa / Japan, very intense an tough did also get the “Best technique award ” Kikukawa will meet the winner of Efrosinya Pavlova / Russia and Marta Lubos / Poland. And if that if not enough – Ivanka Deleva / Bulgaria will probably be the next in line. A very tough start for all, as they face heavy merited fighters from the very beginning.

Being the one of the lightest / shortest competitor in the whole tournament – one could underestimate Kikukawa. But taking a quick look at her record since the last Word Championship, it’s fair to say that we have top contender. Top 4 in the All Japan Open last year,showing that Open-weight tournament will not slow her down. Up against The winner of Lubos/Pavlova – both also very good skilled, both been successful in several tournaments – weight category as well as Open -weight. Both being in the top of their region Europe/ Russia – the question is are they ready for the World stage – and most of all in Japan?

We have the feeling that Marta Lubos will be in position to advance on the cost of Pavlova. Lubos’s active schedule last years, has brought her experiences that completes her style, no doubt that she has a nose for this, the qualify in Prague showed that, and no the nose are pointed to the 12th WT Great pace, and that will be needed for sure – if its gonna be Kikukawa in the 2nd. And the winner of Kikukawa/Lubos – will most likely face the Open-weight EC winner 2018 – Ivanka Deleva / Bulgaria. Deleva will be a very tough nut to crack. And taking into consideration that Kikukawa vs Lubos – could easy be a very demanding fight – well, cup is cup a the say. The one who power trough, will face top fighters from the bottom of the block.

The lower part of the D block starts with Brigita Gustaitytė / Lithuania – top heavyweight fighter from Europe. Can be up against home fighter Misaki Teshima – if Teshima goes to 2nd round. If so, this will be a fight with very large differences i the psychical aspect. It will depend on the skills of Gustaitytė to hunt down the smaller fighter. Further on we count in Chihiro Kubota / Japan. First one for Kubota can be against raising star Lili Mező / Hungary. Kubota have the experience and proven to be one of the absolute top Japanese fighters. Can it stands against super technical Mező?!

Connecting the upper part with the bottom part of the D bock, we have a feeling that it might can end up with a Japan vs Europe match up in the 4th round.

But as mention before, this is only speculations based on previous fights, and tournaments and records. So prove us wrong, that will bring eve more excitements into it all. That said, soon we be ready for the strongest Full-contact Karate World Championship!