Japan are the undisputed champions

27th August 2006

Powerhouse Japan is the undisputed kingpins in the 8 th Asian Karate-do Federation Junior and Cadet Championships which ended at the Jurong East Sports Hall in Singapore today with an impressive 13 gold medal haul.

Right from Day One when they won five golds out of the seven up for grabs, the Japanese contingent have made it crystal clear that they are a force to be reckoned with, both in the Kata and the Kumite.

Another six on the second day and two more on the final day have put them beyond the reach of the 20 countries taking part in the three-day championships.

Iran were the closest with a total of four golds, then came Kazakhstan and Malaysia with two gold medals each.

The gold medal winning continued for Japan today when Kai Kenta retained his title in the Junior Make Individual Kumite below 75kg with a victory over Yen Tzu Yao of Taipei and then Nihei Ryou picked up the Junior Male Individual Kumite below 65kg category gold medal, beating Jerry Menahem of Indonesia.

Only Choda Shigehiro was left to reflect on his loss to Iranian Hamed Amirinasab in the Junior Make Individual Kumite below 80kg and their Junior Male Kumite Team were beaten by Kuwait in their semi-final clash.

The final day of competition saw the emergence of the Middle East countries with Kuwait and Iran providing the thrust with four gold medals between them.

Iran's gold came from Habib Hatami in the men's Junior Kumite 55kgs category and Hamed Amirnasab in the Junior Male Individual Kumite below 80kg category while Kuwait's Alrashidi Saad secured the title in the Junior Male Individual Kumite below 70 kg category and their Junior Male Kumite team won the gold medal.

Malaysia and Kazakhstan were also winners of two gold medals each while Singapore and Vietnam ended the championship with one gold each.

Singapore's athletes for Day Three, Andy Masagus and Lee Hong Wei were both knocked out in their first match in the Junior Male Individual Kumite below 80kg and Junior Male Individual Kumite 80kg and above respectively.