MANILA, Philippines – Junna Tsukii opens her international campaign for the year when she takes on the world’s best in the Karate 1-Premier League Cairo from January 27-29 at the Cairo International Stadium in Egypt.
Tsukii, the Philippines’ top karateka now ranked world No. 3 in the female kumite -50 kilogram category, will face a tough field made up of the finest karatekas in the world.
Sixteen of the top 20 karatekas in the world, eight of whom are in the top 10, will aim to be crowned champion of the first major tournament of the year. Leading the cast are world No. 1 Yorgelis Salazar of Venezuela and second-ranked Serap Ozcelik Arapoglu of Turkey.
Other notable participants are two-time world champion and world No. 7 Miyo Miyahara of Japan, 2021 world championship silver medalist and sixth-ranked Shara Hubrich of Germany, and world No. 9 and former European champion Bettina Plank of Austria, who won the bronze in the Tokyo Olympics.
Despite the crack list, Tsukii likes her chances of advancing deep in the competition given her familiarity with most of her opponents.
Tsukii made history last year when she became the first Filipina athlete to win a gold medal in the 2022 World Games in Birmingham, Alabama, United States.
The Karate 1-Premier League is largely considered the most important league event in the world of karate. In 2021 when karate competitions resumed after the COVID lockdown, Tsukii twice emerged champion of the Karate 1-Premier League in Lisbon, Portugal and in Cairo, Egypt. – Rappler.com
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