World Karate Championships: Indians finish without a medal in Dubai meet

Pranay Sharma, in the 67kg men’s individual kumite, was the only Indian karateka who managed to reach the third round. Sudhir Sehrawat (+84kg) lost in the repechage.

By Ubaid Parkar
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

None of the 17 Indian karatekas competing at the World Karate Championships 2021 in Dubai managed to make the medal round in their respective categories at the Hamdan Arena.

Indians competed in the men and women’s individual kumite, individual kata and team kumite events while only the men took part in the team kata event. The tournament ran from November 16 to 21.

Kumite involves freestyle fighting between two competitors while kata involves performing a series of prescribed movements.

All four Indians in the women’s individual kumite -- Amritpal Kaur (50kg), Jyoti Bisht (55kg), Deepika Dhiman (61kg) and Reetika (-68kg) -- lost in their respective opening rounds.

The five Indian karatekas in the men’s individual kumite fared slightly better. Gaurav Sindhya (60kg) and Sudhir Sehrawat (+84kg) made it to the second round while Pranay Sharma (67kg) reached the third before they lost.

Sudhir Sehrawat also got an opportunity to progress via repechage but lost 8-0 to Tokyo Olympian Daniyar Yuldashev of Kazakhstan.

Manish (75kg) and Vishal (-84kg), who each got a bye in their respective opening rounds, fell in the second round.

In the men’s team kumite, India were knocked out in the second round by Azerbaijan. The Indian men’s team -- comprising Mohammad Akhtar Ali, Rupesh Das, Manish, Sudhir Sehrawat, Pranay Sharma, Gaurav Sindhya and Vishal -- had received a bye in the first round.

The women’s kumite team, with a first round bye, also fell short in the second round against Austria. The team comprised Jyoti Bisht, Deepika Dhiman, Amritpal Kaur and Supriya Jatav.

In the kata, Priyanka Rami and Arka Banerjee exited in the second round of the women’s and men’s individual events, respectively. The men’s kata team of Naveen Bhindia, Manoj Dhoiya and Aniket Gupta could not progress beyond the opening round.

India have never won a medal at the Karate World Championships since the inaugural edition in 1970.

The 25th edition of the karate meet was originally slated to be held in 2020 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The previous championship was held in 2018 in Madrid, Spain.

Nearly 1,000 karatekas from over 100 countries, including seven Tokyo Olympics gold medallists and nine defending world champions, took part in the Dubai tournament in various categories, including in para competitions.


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