Montreal, June 1, 2018 – Karate Canada has been selected to host the Montreal 2019-Karate 1 Series A event, the first World Karate Federation (WKF) senior Karate-1 competition to be held in North America, next year, from June 21st to 23rd. This international event will form part of the qualification calendar for the Tokyo 2020 Games, where the discipline will make its Olympic debut.
The large gathering will bring together nearly 1,400 senior WKF athletes from 80 countries, along with member athletes of Karate Canada.
It is the culmination of an extensive endeavour with the international federation. Canada has hosted three major karate tournaments in the past: the 2011 Pan American Junior Championships, the 2013 Commonwealth Championships and the 2015 Pan American Senior Championships.
“This is an important step for the national federation. It demonstrates the strength of our athletes and of our organization. This event, one of four in the A Series, will bring together karatekas from across the country. It will be a fantastic opportunity for them to perform at the international level on Canadian soil. It will also be a great opportunity for athletes from all over the continent to try to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games,” stated Craig Vokey, president of Karate Canada.
Quebec’s Daphné Trahan-Perreault, kata specialist, agrees. “It is a source of pride for us to host this event in Canada. Previously, our country was not necessarily known for its accomplishments in karate, but we’re slowly starting to make our mark on the competition circuit. It's nice to be able to help Canada stake its place on the international stage.”
The competition will be held in collaboration with Karaté Québec, and the federation will strongly encourage all of the province’s eligible athletes to participate.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to promote karate within the province. It’s also a chance for local karatekas to experience an event like this at a lower cost. In Europe, high-level international competitions are held almost every week. For the price of a $100 train or plane ticket, athletes can compete in those events and be home by Sunday night, without any jet lag, which is not the case for North Americans,” added Danny Morin, president of Karaté Québec.
For the Canadians who participate in the Montreal event, it will be a golden opportunity to demonstrate to family and friends that they have what it takes to compete with the best athletes in the world.
“I can’t wait! It's incredible that an international competition of this magnitude will be held at home the year before the Olympics,” said New Brunswick’s Kathryn Campbell, Kumite -55 kg athlete. “I remember the 2015 Pan American Games. They were incredible! It was one of the highlights of my career. Having the support of my fellow Canadians was really special and I feel privileged to have experienced it.”
The Road to Tokyo 2020
The 2020 Olympic Games will mark a great moment in the history of karate, since the sport will be part of the competition programme at last. The Montreal 2019 event will therefore be an important one for Canadians who dream of claiming the title of “Olympian”.
Participants will collect points for the overall WKF ranking, which will determine who qualifies for a pass to Tokyo.
"Young people who see us will be motivated to pursue karate. It’s another step forward for Canadians who dream of participating in the Olympic Games,” concluded Quebec’s Nicolas Bisson, Kumite -60 kg athlete.
The venue for the Montreal 2019-Karate 1 Series A competition is yet to be determined and will be announced shortly.