French and Italian karatekas prevail at EKF Cadet, Junior & U21 Championships

Saturday, 25 February 2017 10:01

The celebration of youth Karate being held this weekend in Sofia (Bulgaria) finished with the proclamation of France and Italy as domineering forces of the sport in under-age categories. While athletes from the two countries topped the final standings of the memorable event, the 2017 EKF Cadet, Junior & U21 Championships demonstrated Karate’s outstanding influence among youngsters. 

Showcasing impressive abilities and perfect techniques, the last of the new under-age European champions were crowned at the last competition day. France’s Steven Dacosta was named one of the big stars of the tournament after cruising to a forceful victory in U21 Kumite Male -67kg category. The defending Senior European champion confirmed his status as top favourite and earned his fourth gold medal in under-age continental competitions following his victories in the 2012, 2013 and 2014 editions of the tournament. Dacosta’s demonstration represented the first of the two gold medals of the day the French delegataion and ratified the 20 year-old athlete as one of the main rising figures of European Karate.  

“This gold medal was a long-time goal for me and I feel very proud for being able to have succeeded here,” said Dacosta, who pointed out his impressive record of golds in under-age continental championships and his exceptional campaign with victories in the two top European tournaments. 

Italy completed an exceptional participation in the championships, and following their triumphant second day of competition, the “Il Canto degli Italiani” national anthem also echoed in Armec Arena sports hall on Sunday. Clio Ferracuti prevailed in U21 Kumite Female +68kg, so to sign the sixth gold medal for the “azzurri”. With her victory, Italy closed a sensational performance in Sofia as a total of 13 medals went to the southern European country. 

Turkey’s Eray Samdan confirms his superiority 

Turkish delegation dazzled in the last day of competition after claiming three gold medals today, to a final count of 12 awards. Umay Tokcan in U21 Female Kumite -50kg, Eray Samdan in U21 Male Kumite -60kg, and Alparslan Yamanoglu in U21 Kumite Male +84kg won gold for the third-ranked country in the final standings of the tournament. 

Eray Samdan’s success was especially notorious since the 19 year-old karateka has dominated so intensively the category that the young rising star earned his fifth consecutive European title. The current Junior, Cadet and U21 world champion has reached the top of the podium in all five EKF Cadet, Junior & U21 Championships since 2013 and is fast becoming a household name of the sport. 

“I don’t know if I am one of the stars of the tournament. I think that five gold medals in a row is a tournament record and I am very happy for this,” said Samdan. 

Representatives from Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Croatia also reached the top of the podium during the last day of the event. With the coronation of the new rising stars of European Karate, the 2017 EKF Cadet, Junior & U21 Championships came to a memorable end thus confirming Karate’s bright future in the continent.


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2017 KARATE EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS - Sofia, Bulgaria | 17-19 February 2017
44th Cadets, Juniors, 9th U21