j. Sánchez Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

When j. Sánchez of Spain won the first-ever Olympic gold medal in karate in Tokyo 2020 at the Nippon Budokan stadium, the spiritual home of karate in Japan, she solidified her position as the undisputed queen of the kata.

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j. Sánchez Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

With two of the world’s foremost kata experts facing off, the gold medal match for karate’s Olympic debut was a fitting conclusion.

j. Sánchez Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

j. Sánchez, the defending world champion, won the individual kata final with a score of 28.06 points, beating out SHIMIZU Kiyou of Japan.

j. Sánchez, 39, contributed to her burgeoning reputation with a performance that belied her years, while SHIMIZU, with a score of 27.88, took silver.

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j. Sánchez was told she was too old to compete in the karate kata, yet she won the 2018 world title in her own country and the Olympic gold medal just over a month before her 40th birthday.

Saying this is “wild” is an understatement. I feel overwhelmed with conflicting emotions. It makes me joyful, but it also makes me want to cry “as j. Sánchez put it.

I’m not sure I can accept this reality just yet. For the life of me, I can’t believe it, therefore I need to see my kata for myself.

This championship match at the Budokan in Japan with SHIMIZU was flawless. This is the perfect time. In a word, it’s incredible.”

Ahead of her, LAU Mo Sheung Grace of Hong Kong, China and Viviana Bottaro of Italy both won bronze for their efforts. In the Olympic finals, LAU defeated Dilara Bozan of Turkey to win the sport’s first medal.

Bottaro dominated his bronze medal match against KOKUMAI Sakura of the United States by a wide margin.

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