Eleni Chatziliadou won gold at the World Karate Championships in Madrid and will be amongst Greece’s top medal contenders for the 2020 Olympics.
The 24-year-old from Katerini in Macedonia competed in the women’s kumite +68 kg event. She defeated Japan’s Ayumi Uekusa 3-0 in the final. At the previous World Championships in 2016, Uekusa had defeated Chatziliadou in the final, so the Greek got her revenge this time around. The Greek had also won a bronze at the 2012 World Championships.
In the previous rounds, Chatziliadou defeated Switzerland’s Ramona Bruederlin 5-2, Chinese Taipei’s Wen Tzu-Hsuan 9-0, Finland’s Titta Keinanen 2-1, and Egypt’s Shymaa Abouel Yazed 3-2.
Karate will be added to the Olympics for the very first time in 2020, so Chatziliadou will have the chance to win an Olympic medal. Karate also now becomes the 15th Olympic sport where Greece has won a World Championship gold medal in, after wrestling, weightlifting, sailing, athletics (track and field), rhythmic gymnastics, artistic gymnastics, taekwondo, rowing, swimming, judo, fencing, water polo, cycling, and shooting.
Chatziliadou was the third Greek in 2018 to win a World Championship gold medal, after Anna Korakaki (shooting) and Eleftherios Petrounias (artistic gymnastics) also did so.
by Andrew Stamas
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