News ID: 318916
Published: 0420 GMT December 22, 2021

Iran crowned Asian karate champion despite final-day setbacks

Iran crowned Asian karate champion despite final-day setbacks

Iranian captain Zabihollah Poursheib won the men’s kumite -84kg gold at the Asian Karate Championship in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Sports Desk

A remarkable number of 39 medals – including 14 golds – across all age categories secured Iran a top-spot finish at the Asian Karate Championship.

However, a rather disappointing final day of the competitions in in Almaty, Kazakhstan, saw Iran settle for the fourth spot in the seniors’ table – following Japan, the host, and Vietnam.

Iranians managed to clinch only one of the six golds up for grabs on Wednesday, when men’s captain Zabihollah Poursheib beat Japan’s Rikito Shimada 4-3 in the kumite -84kg final.

Meanwhile, Iran’s three-year dominance in the men’s team kumite contests came to an end at the hands of Kazakhstan.

Iran’s four-man team – comprising Poursheib, Sajjad Ganjzadeh, Mehdi Khodabakshi and Kayvan Baban – suffered a 3-1 defeat against the host in the final showpiece and took the silver, with Khodabakshi the only Iranian coming out victorious (7-2) against his opponent.

Saleh Abazari, Ali Meskini, and Mobina Heidari also came short in the final showdowns of their respective kumite categories.

Abazari, representing the country in the men’s +84kg division, was beaten 4-0 by Saudi Arabia’s Tareg Hamedi – a silver medalist at the Tokyo Olympics in August – while Meskini fell to a 2-1 loss to Abdallah Hammad of Jordan in the men’s -60kg final.

Heidari, who had won an under-21 gold earlier in the competitions, suffered a 9-2 setback against Japanese Kayo Someya in women’s -68kg final.

In the kata contests, Iranian trio of Abolfazl Shahrjerdi, Milad Farazmehr, and Ali Zand scored 25.02 points against Japan’s 26.48 and took the men’s team silver, while Iranian women’s team – Najmeh Qazizadeh, Elnaz Taqipour, and Shadi Ja’farzadeh) finished its campaign with a consolation bronze after a 24.46-23.42 triumph over Kazakhstan.

This was a second kata medal for Shahrjerdi, who had beaten Chen Chao Ching of the Chinese Taipei to the individual bronze on the preceding night.

Pouria Aqdasi (-55kg) and Ali-Asghar Asiabari (-75kg) had also won a couple of bronze medals in the men’s kumite contests on Tuesday with Taravat Khaksar (-55kg), Rozita Alipour (-61kg), and Leila Borj-Ali (+68kg) also finishing on the third podium of their respective weight classes.

Kazakhstan followed Iran in the overall table – courtesy of 11 golds, eight silvers, and 13 bronzes – with Japan finishing third with 10 medals, all of which came in the seniors’ event.

Some 500 karatekas from 23 countries took part at the 17th Asian Senior, and 19th Asian Cadet, Junior & U21 Karate Championship.


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