By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Azerbaijani karateka, Grand Winner and current World champion Irina Zaretska (Female Kumite -68kg) has became a vice-champion of Karate1 Series A - Santiago 2020 tournament.
Zaretska’s road to final began from Round 2, where she met with Danielle Van Wyk from South Africa and took an easy win (9-0).
In the quarterfinal, Zaretska fought against Halyna Melnyk from Ukraine. Fighting was heavy, but victory was assured by the Azerbaijani sportswoman (3-2).
Zaretska edged Egypt’s Feryal Abdelaziz in semi-finals (1-0).
However, Silvia Semeraro of Italy surprised current World champion in the final. Semeraro had suffered a defeat against Zaretska in the final of the Karate 1-Premier League Madrid, where Zaretska took the title. This time, Semeraro became a champion after prevailing in the final 1-0.
Thus, Zaretska took silver medal of the tournament.
Note that Zaretska won three gold medals in 2019 and was recognized as a Grand Winner following the results of a series of Premier League tournaments held during 2019.
Karate1 Series A - Santiago 2020 was held in capital of Chile, Santiago on January 10-12.
Zaretska continues to lead the world ranking in the weight category over 61 kg. The athlete has 7,117.5 points in her asset, and she is 1,522.5 points ahead of the nearest pursuer Elena Quirici from Switzerland.
The four best karatekas in each weight category will be selected for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Over the past years, Azerbaijani karate athletes been the winners of a number of prestigious international tournaments, European and World Championships.
Azerbaijan boasts with the number of its world-known karatekas. Among them are five-time World Champion, and eleven-time European Champion Rafael Agayev, World Champions Israfil Shirinov, Aykhan Mamayev, Europe Champions Parviz Abdulkarimov, Jeyhun Aghasiyev, Rustam Madatov, Fayyaz Ildirimzade, Niyazi Aliyev and Asiman Gurbanli, bronze medalists of European Championship Amal Atayev, Yusif Jafarov, Shahin Atamov, Rashad Huseynov and Ilaha Gasımova who are members of the national team.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz