Damián Quintero and Paola García will fight for gold in kata at the Guadalajara Karate European Championship


The Spaniards Damián Quintero and Paola García will fight next Saturday for the gold medal in the kata modality of the European Karate Championships, which will be held from this Wednesday to Sunday at the Palacio Multiusos de Guadalajara, while Babacar Seck and María Isabel Nieto will try to get a bronze in +84 kilos and -68 kilos.

The veteran from Malaga and the youngster from Extremadura signed the first joys for the national delegation present at the event and now they will try to maintain their good level in the qualifying rounds, where they were the best, to aspire to the continental title.

Quintero, current Olympic, world and European runner-up, qualified for his twenty-fourth European final, counting those achieved in the team modality, he began dominating the first round with the kata ‘Kururunfa’, with which he added 41.8 points, and he did the same in the second, with the ‘Pachu’ kata, which gave him 42.6. In the third, he opted for ‘Anan Dai’ and added 42.6 to enter with authority in a final where the Italian Mattia Busato will be measured.

In the women’s competition, Paola García did not disappoint and despite her 17 years she controlled her nerves and performed her exercises very well to aspire to inherit the throne of the laureate Sandra Sánchez. The woman from Extremadura, current champion of Spain, also dominated her three rounds with ‘Kururunfa’ (41.8), ‘Suparinpei’ (42.3) and ‘Papuren’ (44.3) to meet for gold with the French Taily Helvetia.

On the other hand, the start of the qualifiers for the combat modality, kumite, brought another two medal options through Babacar Seck, at +84 kilos, and María Isabel Nieto, at -68, who qualified through the play-offs

The Aragonese will seek the podium against the Ukrainian Ryzvan Talibov after beating his first two rivals before losing to the French Mehdi Filali; while the woman from Palencia will face the Turkish Eda Eltemur after also winning her first two bouts and losing by decision in her third against the Olympic runner-up, the Azerbaijani Irina Zaretska.

Instead, there was the bad news of the defeat of María Torres from Malaga. The current world champion in +68 kilos fell 5-2 in her debut against the Italian Clio Ferracutti and then could not access the playoffs. In addition, Carlota Fernández (-61) and Rafael Ibáñez (-84) were also eliminated.