Karate 1-Premier League canceled over Covid-19 concerns

TEHRAN, Mar. 07 (MNA) – The fourth stop of this season’s Karate 1-Premier League which was due to be held in Morocco has been canceled over new coronavirus outbreak concerns.

“The World Karate Federation regrets to inform that the Karate 1-Premier League event to take place in Rabat (Morocco) from March 13-15 has been cancelled due to recent developments regarding the coronavirus outbreak,” reads a statement issued by the world federation.

“The cancellation of the event has been taken upon the decision of the Moroccan authorities to take extraordinary measures to control the outbreak of Covid-19 in the country. All international sports competitions have been cancelled in Morocco, and the World Karate Federation has just received the communication from the Moroccan government regarding the Karate event to be held in Rabat next week,” it added.

The event was the final window of raising points for the Olympics ranking for many countries, including Iran. The World Karate Federation has announced that it is trying to find solutions for the eventual ranking system. “Due to this unexpected circumstance, the World Karate Federation in coordination with the International Olympic Committee is working through its Olympic Planning Commission and the Executive Committee to find adequate solutions for any eventual adjustments on the Olympic Qualification System.”

Iranian karatekas have already secured two spots in the 2020 Olympics by Bahman Asgari (Male Kumite -75kg) and Hamideh Abbasali (Female Kumite +61kg). In the heavyweight category of Male Kumite (+75kg), Sajjad Ganjzadeh or Zabihollah Poorshab will book a place in the Olympics. According to the current ranking, Ganjzadeh is the one going to the Olympics but the canceled Rabat event could change the situation.

And the last berth could have been secured by Sara Bahmanyar in Female Kumite -55kg category in Morocco. Now we should wait and see what the WKF will do regarding the final rankings of athletes.

Karate is due to make its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020. There will be eight karate gold medals up for grabs at Tokyo - men's kata, women's kata and three different weight classes for both men's and women's Kumite events.

MAH/4871788/4870921

News Code 156416

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