The Spanish women’s kata team is proclaimed European champion

Damián Quintero and the men’s kata team win silver and Paola García, bronze


The Spanish women’s kata team won the gold medal this Sunday at the European Karate Championships, which was held in Zadar (Croatia), while the men’s team won the silver, all hours after Damián Quintero and Paola García won silver and bronze, respectively, in the kata modality.

The women’s team, made up of Raquel Roy, María López and Gema Morales, won the title after beating Italy in the final, which was seeking to retain its crown and win its third consecutive European title. With this, Spain was not continental champion of this modality since 2019.

The Spanish, current runners-up in the world and who in the qualifiers defeated the Czech Republic and Turkey, masterfully executed the Anan kata, which they had already performed on previous occasions but which they have now managed to modify and improve with the help of national coach Francisco Salazar.

For its part, the men’s team, formed by Damián Quintero, Sergio Galán, Raúl Martín and Salvador Balbuena, lost in the final against Turkey. In the qualifiers, the current World Cup runners-up defeated competitors from Poland, France and Italy, but their execution of the Paiku kata was not enough to defeat the current continental champions, who won by four tenths.

Quintero had already hung a medal around his neck on Saturday, a silver, after losing the final against the Turkish Ali Sofuoglu, a classic duel in continental karate. Both starred in the European finals between 2017 and 2022, with victories in the first three for the man from Malaga and two in the following for the Ottoman, who missed last year’s in Guadalajara, where Quintero was champion.

The Spanish karate fighter, with the Suparinpei kata, achieved 42.40 points, compared to the 43.90 of his rival with the Gojushiho Sho kata. With this medal, Quintero has not been off the continental podium since 2004.

Paola García also won a medal, in this case a bronze medal, who beat the Czech Veronika Miskova in the women’s kata final. The woman from Extremadura, who was proclaimed European champion last year, opted for the Chatanyara Kushanku kata and received 42.50 points, compared to 40.80 points for her opponent with Chibana no Kushanku.

Thus, the Spanish team closes the European Championship with a gold – from the women’s kata team -, three silvers – from Damián Quintero and the men’s kata team and from Sonia Pereira in kumite -55kg – and two bronzes – from Paola García in kata and by Isabel Nieto in kumite -68kg-. In parakarate, Spain won a gold medal -from Carlos Huertas Ruiz-, a silver medal -from Lucía Sánchez- and two bronze medals -from Fran Lozano and Víctor Prieto-.