THE BULGARIAN ZAHARI DAMYANOV IS THE NEW WORLD CHAMPION!
The 11th World Open Karate Championship was held from November 20th thru 22nd at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. Zahari Damyanov from Bulgaria won for the first time in his third attempt where 192 fighters from around the world challenged for the open weight crown.
The 1st round was fought on day 1, the 2nd and 3rd round on day2. 32 fighters advanced to the 4th round on day 3 (Russia 18, Japan 9, Bulgaria 1, France 1, USA 1, New Zealand 1, Ukraine 1).
There were high hopes for Japan to reclaim the crown and last years All Japan Open tournament runners-up Shoki Arata and 6th place Mikio Ueda advanced to the top 8 but both lost in the quarter final.4 fighters from Russia advanced to the top 8 but all lost in the semi-final. The final was an all- European final with Zahari Damyanov from Bulgaria winning by decision against Djema Belkhodja from France.