Karate Excluded from 2024 Paris Olympic Games, WKF Comments
After making it’s debut in Tokyo, Japan for the 2020 Olympic Games, karate seems to be a one-and-done for the upcoming Olympic cycle. After being received quite well, karate will not be included in the Games in Paris, France in 2024. The WKF President, Antonio Espinos, has called into question the “exclusion” as he calls it.
Espinos believes that the IOC simply added karate to the 2020 programme with the popularity the sport had in Japan. With three other sports added in addition to karate (surfing, skateboarding, sport climbing), it was the combat sport that had the highest peak of the four gathering in nearly four million people as Steven Da Costa won the gold medal.
Sajad Ganjzaded and Tareg Hamedi went viral when Hamedi knocked out Ganjzaded but was given the silver for the rule violation. The clip made the run around the internet and reached millions of people.
Antonio Espinos and The IOC Butting Heads Over Karate
Antonio Espinos is not happy with the exclusion of his sport. “What has happened is not that karate has not been included – it has been excluded, which is not the same – on purpose,” Espinós told insidethegames.
The WKF and Antonio Espinos knew going into Tokyo to that they were excluded, but hoped to change that with the performance of the sport in Tokyo.
“Almost three years have passed, and nobody has been able to explain why karate has been excluded by the Organising Committee, by Estanguet.”
Tony Estanguet is the Organizer for the Olympic Games and he says that while Estanguet might not be the one to drop the axe (kick), he’s still upset with the popularity of his sport in France.
“I don’t know if he had some instructions from somebody or from the IOC, to say karate that should not be in Paris, when karate is so strong in France.”
Karate is just the latest sport going through these Olympic pains. Mixed martial arts and the IMMAF have been fighting this opaque process for years in trying to get the world’s fastest growing sport in the Olympic programme. Combat sports are on the rise and kickboxing, Muay Thai, and Sambo received recognition by the IOC but won’t be included in the Games as of yet.
There’s still hope from the WKF to get karate back on the schedule for 2024. Stay posted to My MMA News for the latest surrounding karate’s new fight. Thanks for reading!
Your friendly neighborhood fight fan. I watch way too many fights and my wife lets me know it.