I wish for myself and other karatekas that as many great fans come to all competitions as here,” said Michal Babos, who won a bronze medal for Poland. The second and – unfortunately – the last day of the karate competition ended with exciting fights.
On June 23, the second day of the karate competition within the framework of the European Games Krakow – Malopolska 2023 took place in the hall in Bielsko-Biala. The day before, we watched athletes in the kata competition, and this time only in the contact kumite competition.
The best athletes from Europe performed in heavier weight categories than the day before. Women in categories up to 61 kg, up to 68 and above 68. Men in categories up to 75 kg, up to 84 and above 84. A real show of strength was given by representatives of Ukraine, who won the most valuable rings.
Reem Khamis (GER) won the gold medal in the women’s up to 61 kg category. Difficult conditions in the final were set for her by Anita Serogina (UKR). – This is a very big step in my career. Anita was a difficult opponent. I had a lot of fun fighting here,” commented the German.
Andrii Zaplitnyi (UKR) became the gold medalist in the men’s up to 75 kg category, defeating Daniele De Vivo (ITA) in the last, also a close fight. – This was a very difficult competition. They had a high level. I am very happy. I thank my family, compatriots and the organizers of this tournament, which was very good,” the Ukrainian pointed out.
The gold in the women’s up to 68 kg category was won by Iryna Zaretska (AZE). Her rival in the grand final was Elena Norina Quirici (SUI).
Alvin Karaqi (ALB) triumphed in the men’s up to 84 kg category. His opponent in the finals was Brian Simon Timmermans (NED). – Timmermans is a complete fighter, but today I proved to be better. This is my biggest success in my career, which is all the more gratifying because I work full-time as a doctor,” said Alvin Karaqi.
On the top step of the podium in the women’s category over 68 kg stood Johanna Kneer (GER). Clio Ferracuti (ITA) had to settle for the silver medal.
Andelo Kvesic (CRO) won the gold medal in the men’s category over 84 kg. The champion did not allow himself the slightest mistake and his opponent Fatih Sen (TUR) did not even score a point. Moreover, the Turk was disqualified due to unsportsmanlike behavior. – I’m happy and proud, because this is one of the biggest competitions in Europe with medalists of the most important events,” said the winner.
All karate results – HERE.
Polish fans were also happy that day, as Michal Babos won a bronze medal in the up to 84 kg category. The day before, Milosz Sabiecki rejoiced with the same medal in the weight up to 67 kg. Read more about the Poles’ results HERE.
Pawel Poltorzecki, president of the Polish Karate Union of the Bielsko-Biala Sports Association, is happy that such a prestigious European Games took place in the city where he spent most of his life. – I’m happy that we were able to make it happen. An army of people worked for it, who put a lot of heart into organizing the event. We are pleased with the praise for the organization and the feedback that everything was buttoned up to the last button. I am already recalling these Games with a tear in my eye. It will be a story to which I will return. The more so because the struggle in karate ended with two medals for Poland,” says the head of the association.
– There were no random people here. The spectacularity of the fights was enormous, and the atmosphere was great. We showed the beauty of professional sport. I believe that we will develop and that karate will return to the Olympic Games program. We are working a lot in this regard,” he added.
The silent heroes of the European Games in Bielsko-Biała were the volunteers. – I take part in a lot of volunteering in different places, so I decided to help here as well. Thanks to this, I discovered this vibrant world of karate and it interested me a lot. It is a very interesting, exciting sport and I would like to get to know it even more,” said a resident of nearby Jaworze. – We came from Jaworze and train in the local club. The level of competition is high and watching such professional fights gives us the desire to develop further,” added her colleagues. – The school gave us the opportunity to sign up as volunteers, and since I am interested in martial arts, I decided to take part. I don’t train karate, but the fights are very interesting to me. Everything is dynamic,” said another volunteer. – I came to Bielsko-Biała from Warsaw. I train karate, so I wanted to help in such an important event for this sport. The atmosphere is very positive and I met many wonderful people,” said another volunteer. Karate is also trained by a team of volunteers from Wroclaw. – It’s a great opportunity to meet top athletes from around the world and see what their passion is like. We are also athletes, so it’s great fun for us and an opportunity to gain experience. There is a great atmosphere, you can meet a lot of great people. The organization is at a high level, we got all the necessary equipment and continuous access to meals,” they recounted. – We don’t train karate, nevertheless we decided to take part in the volunteering, because karate is a sport that originated in our country. We don’t know the exact rules, but the fights are very exciting and interesting,” the Japanese said.