K1 Premier League Istanbul Recap

by Ashley Dressig

Karate is back.


Following the suspension of the 2020 event season due to COVID-19, USA Karate and Karate athletes across the globe arrived at the first event of this year’s exciting season. As the road to the Olympics continues to shorten, many athletes are prepping for their last few international competitions as they await the Paris Olympic Qualifier in early June. 


Going into the first Premier League of the season, Team USA debuted with 7 athletes all hoping to start their season strong. These athletes stood alongside over 600 competitors from 72 countries.


In Kata:

Both Ariel Torres and Mason Stowell had an incredible performance on their first day of competition bringing them both into the bronze medal match. On Sunday, it was Ariel Torres who brought home the bronze medal, and Mason Stowell secured his fifth-place finish in this season opener. Gakuji Tozaki finished 7th overall. 


In Men’s Kumite:

After receiving a bye in the first round, Tom Scott (-75kg) came out on top in the second round versus Tunisia, but fell to Iran in round three. Brian Irr, (+84kg) defeated first round opponent Ukraine 3-1, but fell in the second 1-2 to Spain. Frank Ruiz (-60kg) was defeated in the first round 0-1 against Kazakhstan. After receiving a bye in the first round, Brian Hilliard (-67kg) fell 0-5 to Russia.


Up Next: Karate1 Premier League Lisbon (April 30 – May 2, 2021)

USA Karate International Events:


Meet Our Olympic Hopefuls!

Wanting to get to know a little more about the athletes who will be fighting to claim their spot in Tokyo? We got you covered. Throughout March and April we’re sitting down with all eight of our Paris Olympic Hopefuls to ask them about their Karate careers and their hopes for the Tokyo Olympic Games.


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