What we learned: Karate highlights from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games


From Sandra Sanchez' passionate kata display to Feryal Abdelaziz earning a historic gold for Egypt in kumite, take a look at karate's most memorable moments at its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020, including a medal recap and how to watch highlights and full replays.

Karate’s Olympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Games was spectacular.

Feryal Abdelaziz stunned the world to become the first Egyptian woman to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games, upsetting World No.1 Iryna Zaretska of Azerbaijan.

However, it was a mixed bag for the Spanish kata masters.

Sandra Sanchez enthralled the judges with her beautiful display, while her compatriot Damian Quintero was beaten to the men's title by long-time rival Kiyuna Ryo of Japan.

Below, we take a look back at the most memorable moments, a recap of the medallists in both kumite and kata disciplines, and how to watch action highlights and replays from Tokyo.

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Top 5 karate moments at Tokyo 2020 in 2021

Let's take a look back at the most memorable displays from the first-ever karate Olympic event.

1- Kiyuna Ryo seals kata gold

A meeting of male kata titans saw Okinawa native Kiyuna Ryo of Japan beat Spaniard Damian Quintero to win a historic medal for his country and the sport. Fun fact: The island of Okinawa is the birthplace of the sport.

Ryo, a three-time world champion, scored a perfect 28.72 to extend his unbeaten run which stretches back to February 2018.

“I wanted my mother to see the view from the top of the podium, and to tell her that I kept my promise of winning gold at the Olympic Games,” said Ryo who took a photo of his late mum to the medal ceremony.

2- Evergreen champion Sandra Sanchez

The other star performer in kata was the seemingly ageless Sandra Sanchez, who became her sport's first-ever female Olympic champion.

That gold medal meant the 39-year-old is now the reigning European, World and Olympic champion, as well as the oldest Olympic gold medallist from Spain.

Sanchez has been unrivalled in karate’s top series since 2014, and hasn't shown signs of letting up any time soon.

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3- Feryal Abdelaziz, Egypt’s first ever female Olympic champ

Feryal Abdelaziz delivered the greatest upset in karate at Tokyo 2020.

The eighth seed defeated World No. 1 Iryna Zaretska of Azerbaijan 2-0 in the final of the Women’s Kumite +61kg division.

It was Abdelaziz’s biggest career victory, following bronze at the 2018 world championships and silver at the 2019 African Games.

Her victory was a particularly significant back home, as she was Egypt’s only gold medal winner from this Olympic Games, and the first female Olympic champion in their history.

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4- Historic gold medals for Jovana Prekovic

Another stand out medallist was karateka Jovana Prekovic, as she became Serbia's second woman to win an Olympic gold.

The 2018 world champion overcame Yin Xiaoyan of China in the women's kumite 61 kg final.

"I was so emotional and so happy because I'd worked a lot. I didn't believe (it) because I wanted to see what happened.

"I didn't see the judges and when I turned back, I saw that I got gold."

5- Dramatic victory for Sajad Ganjzadeh

Iran’s Sajad Ganjzadeh was knocked unconscious but still won the gold medal in the men’s Kumite +75kg.

Tareg Hamedi of Saudi Arabia was leading Ganjzadech 4-1 in the final, before releasing a powerful kick that sent his opponent to the tatami. The Saudi Arabian was disqualified, and the title handed to Ganjzadeh.

“I’m very happy that I won this gold medal,” the Iranian said after. “But I’m sad that it happened like this.”

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One last look

Tokyo was a dream come true for karate as it finally became an Olympic sport, ticking many firsts for the competitors.

Steven Da Costa, one of three French karateka brothers, won the first gold medal in the men’s event beating Turkey’s Eray Samdan in the final of the 67kg kumite division.

Ivet Goranova, the gold medallist in the women’s under-55kg kumite became her country’s first Olympic champion since Beijing 2008.

Italian Luigi Busa, nicknamed "Il Gorilla", won a tight physical contest in the -75kg kumite final against Azerbaijan’s Rafael Aghayev.

When and where to watch karate replays on Olympics.com

We've got you covered. Check out all the action right here .

When do the the karate athletes compete next?

The World Championships take place later this year in Dubai, November 16-21.

Full medals list in karate at Tokyo 2020 in 2021

Women's Individual Kata

Gold - Sandra Sánchez (ESP)

Silver-Shimizu Kiyou (JPN)

Bronze- Mo Sheung Grace Lau (HKG)

Bronze Viviana Bottaro (ITA)

Men's -67kg Kumite

Gold -Steven Da Costa (FRA)

Silver- Eray Samdan (TUR)

Bronze- Darkhan Assadilov (KAZ)

Bronze- Abdel Rahman Almasatfa (JOR)

Women's -55kg Kumite

Gold- Ivet Goranova (BUL)

Silver - Anzhelika Terliuga (UKR)

Bronze - Bettina Plank (AUT)

Bronze -Wen Tzu-Yun (TPE)

Men's Individual Kata

Gold - Kiyuna Ryo (JPN)

Silver Damian Hugo Quintero (ESP)

Bronze - Ali Sofuoglu (TUR)

Bronze - Ariel Torres Gutierrez (USA)

Women's -61kg Kumite

Gold - Jovana Prekovic (SRB)

Silver -Yin Xiaoyan (CHN)

Bronze - Merve Coban (TUR)

Bronze -Giana Lotfy (EGY)

Men's -75kg Kumite

Gold -Luigi Busa (ITA)

Silver -Rafael Aghayev (AZE)

Bronze - Stanislav Horuna (UKR)

Bronze -Gábor Hárspataki (HUN)

Women's +61kg Kumite

Gold - Feryal Abdelaziz (EGY)

Silver- Irina Zaretska (AZE)

Bronze -Sofya Berultseva (KAZ)

Bronze -Gong Li (CHN)

Men's +75kg Kumite

Gold - Sajad Ganjzadeh (IRN)

Silver- Tareg Ali Hamedi (KSA)

Bronze -Ugur Aktas (TUR)

Bronze -Araga Ryutaro (JPN)