Olympic stars from the recent Tokyo Games will be among the record number of participants during the silver jubilee Karate World Championships at the Hamdan Sports Complex in Dubai from November 16-21.
More than 1,800 karatekas, along with 1,200-plus officials and technical staff, will be heading to the UAE for the biggest ever championships in terms of numbers to mark the 25th edition.
It will also be the first World Championships since karate’s Olympic debut in Tokyo.
“It gives us great pleasure to host these championships at a time when Dubai is hosting the world at Expo 2020,” Saeed Hareb, secretary general of the Dubai Sports Council, said at the launch ceremony on Wednesday.
“Just as we welcome the world to Dubai for Expo 2020, we extend our warmest welcome to the global karate family for the World Championships in one of the world’s most modern sports complexes.”
The Hamdan Sports Complex was also the venue for the Asian Karate Championships in 2013.
“Hamdan Sports Complex is one of the top sports arenas in the world with a 15,000-seat capacity,” Hareb added.
“It has hosted more than 350 events, including over 95 top international sports championships, since its inauguration 11 years ago.
“Dubai Sports Council is always keen to host and organise major world championships, and we are pleased that this version of the Karate World Championships will be the biggest-ever in terms of the number of participants.
“This is a confirmation of the world's confidence in UAE’s ability to host major sports events involving large groups of people.
“The number of participants is also a reflection of the keenness of international sports athletes to visit Dubai, a magnificent city which is home to people from more than 195 countries and one of the favourite destination for millions of tourists.”
Major General Nasser Al Razooqi, president of the Asian and UAE Karate Federations and vice-president of World Karate Federation, said the silver jubilee championships is a celebration of Dubai as hosts.
“The Karate World Championships taking place during Expo 2020 Dubai is an once-in-a-lifetime celebration, and it is set to welcome millions of visitors from across the globe.
“The 25th WKF Championships will be the single most important sports event during Expo 2020 and the UAE Karate Federation will not spare any efforts to make the event a unique and memorable one, worthy of the occasion for the sport.”