On November 15-19, the XIII European Karate Championship was held in the city of Antibes, France, organized by the World United Karate Federation (WUKF), in which a 25-member delegation of karatekas from Georgia took part among 3000 athletes from 30 European countries. The Georgian athletes competed successfully at the European Championship, winning a total of 13 medals: 6 gold, 1 silver and 6 bronze.
Luka Khvedeliani, Tato Samkharadze, Chabuka Makharadze and Avto Giunashvili won gold medals in the absolute weight category of team kumite at the European Championship. In the match, the Georgian national team defeated the teams of Italy, Romania, Denmark and England in all rounds and took the 1st team place convincingly.
In addition to the team first place in kumite, Tato Samkharadze won a gold medal in the individual kumite among seniors, Tato Samkharadze won a silver medal in the absolute weight category of individual kumite, and Chabuka Makharadze won a bronze medal among seniors in the kata discipline.
At the European Championship, Tamar Tsintsadze won a gold medal for girls (U11) in the individual kumite, Luka Shantadze and Davit Guloyan (U17) also won gold medals in the absolute weight category, Irakli Gongadze won another gold medal in the combat between veterans in the kumite.
Bronze medals were won by Merab Lomadze (U17) in the absolute category of kumite, Davit Guloyani in the absolute category of kumite between 16-17 years, Mate Dziganadze (U17, -55 kg), Ioane Chumbadze (U9, -40 kg) and Theona Abramishvili (U11, -35 kg).
Chabuka Makharadze, Shotokan karate-do four-time world and five-time European champion sportsman, commented:
“Since 2009, I’ve been successfully participating in European, World Championships and international tournaments organized by the World United Karate Federation (WUKF) and have won medals of all types: gold, silver and bronze. The President of the World United Karate Federation is Liviu Crisan, the owner of the X knife, who has a great influence and authority in karate today.”
The 2023 European Championship was run to very high standards under the organization and rules of WUKF in the city of Antibes, France. A team winning kumite at the championships is considered the most prestigious event, and gives the team a very big advantage.
“At the European Championship in Antibes, we defeated the Italian, Romanian and English national teams in a row in the team committee, which included Luka Khvedeliani, Tato Samkharadze and Avto Giunashvili together with me,” Makharadze noted.
“In addition to the team kumite, I successfully participated in the senior cat category, completing 3 laps with a high score. In the final, the places among the 6 best athletes were divided as follows: Simone Otanavi (Italy) took the 1st place, Slava Martin (Czech Republic) took the 2nd place, and I got the 3rd place with a bronze medal.
“I always try to compete successfully in all championships and represent our country with dignity, which is a great responsibility and also a great motivation. It always makes me happy when I stand on the podium and the flag of Georgia is flying,” he concluded, with a grin.