Karate and the new normal: successful national Kata championships in Turkey under new coronavirus protocol


The city of Bursa in Turkey welcomed the 2020 Turkish National Kata Championships this past weekend. Celebrated under the new coronavirus guidelines, the event was the first Karate competition in the country and one of the first tournaments of the sport in the “new normal”.

Nearly 200 competitors from 68 clubs gathered at the Naim SüleymanoÄŸlu Sports Complex in Bursa to showcase their abilities as the Karate world is slowly going back to celebrate events of the sport.

Social distancing was enforced at all times with all staff members and participants wearing face masks on the field of play. Faces were also covered at the medal ceremonies and warm up areas. Sanitary procedures were imposed throughout the three-day event, and the tournament was held behind closed doors, with spectators not allowed to take the stands.

These measures were required by national authorities to grant organisers the possibility of hosting the event. Included in the WKF COVID-19 Guidelines which Karate’s international governing body published recently, these practices are encouraged for all Karate competitions while the coronavirus pandemic is still spreading in many countries around the world.

Promising karatekas showcased their excitement for their return to the competition during the three-day event. As Turkey is one of the main Kata powerhouse nations in the world, some of their up-and-coming kata stars prevailed at the event. World and European Champion Furkan Kaynar took the gold medal in Male Cadet Kata, while 2019 European Champion MenekÅŸe Vardar celebrated her first national gold medal in Female Junior Kata. Meanwhile, 2018 European Champion Keyda Nur Çolak won the title in the Female U21 kata.

(Pictures, by Gökhan Taner / Turkish Karate Federation)

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