According to Fars News Agency, on the first day (Tuesday, November 2) of the 2023 World Karate Championship hosted by Budapest, Hungary, individual kata competitions and weight fights of -68, +68, -84 and +84 kg were held and at the end of two representatives Iran made their way to the finals and classification.
In the weight of -84 kg, Mehdi Khodabakhshi, the meritorious karate representative of Iran, defeated Qatar’s representative 9-0. In the second round of Karate Kai, he beat Libya 5-0. In the third round of karate, Iran’s representative defeated Bosnia’s Kai 5-2.
In the fourth round and in his most sensitive fight, Khodabakhshi defeated one of the world’s best heavyweights, Mohammad Al-Jaafari, 4-4 to advance to the semi-finals. Iran’s karate representative passed the Shimida barrier of Japan 6-5 in the semi-final match to become a finalist.
Mehdi Khodabakhshi will go to the tatami to win the gold medal on Saturday, November 6.
In the +84 kg weight, Sajjad Ganjzade first defeated the representative of Macedonia 2-1. In the second Karate Kai fight, he defeated Chinese Taipei 5-0. The Olympic champion of Tokyo 2020 managed to overcome Saudi Tariq Hamdi’s barrier 3-3 in his third and critical fight. Ganjzadeh won against this Saudi Karate Kai in the finals in the Olympic Games.
In the fourth fight, the representative of Iran’s karate passed the barrier of the representative of Spain 5-3. Ganjzadeh lost to Mehdi Filali from France in the semi-final match with a score of 8:3 and qualified for the weight classification match of the World Championship.
On Saturday, November 6, Ganjzadeh will go to the tatami to win a bronze medal.
Other representatives of Iranian karate on the first day were Mohammad Sadra Shidzai and Mehsa Afsana in individual kata, Mobina Heydari and Leila Barjali in individual committee, who withdrew from the competition after losing to their opponents.
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