International karate tournament kicks off in Phuket

KARATE: Phuket is hosting the ‘2022 Thai Karate-do Championship’ tomorrow (August 19), the first time the prestigious event has been held outside of Bangkok.

The five-day tournament, which will take place from August 19-23, will be held at Phuket University Rajabhat and is organized by Phuket Province in conjunction with the Thai Karate Federation (TKF), the Sports Authority of Thailand ( SAT) and National Sports Development. Fund (NSDF).

The tournament is expected to attract around 800 people, including athletes from more than 20 countries, some of whom have competed in the Olympics.

It is also expected to attract over 1,000 fans and enthusiasts of the sport, which will be a welcome boost to the local economy and tourism industry still reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The tournament returns to action after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic forcing repeated cancellations.

The competition will be overseen by an organizing committee formed by the TKF and will be open to both male and female athletes to compete in team and individual competitions in the Kata and Kumite classes.

Athletes aged 18 and over will compete in the senior age group with weight classes for women ranging from 50kg to 68kg and 55kg to 84kg for men. Each fight will last three minutes.

Only senior class Kumite competitions will award cash prizes in each respective weight class with US$500 (17,000B) for 1st seat, $300 for 2n/a place and $200 for the third. In addition, $700 will be given to the men’s teams and $400 to the women’s teams in each category of the Kumite team competitions.

There is also a junior age category for male and female athletes between the ages of 14 and 17 to compete in individual kata and kumite bouts which will last two minutes. Additionally, there are Under 14, Under 12, and Under 10 categories where competitors will compete in 90-second bouts in individual kata and kumite classes.

The “Thai Karate-do Championship 2022” is part of the “Air Sea Land Southern International Sports Tourism Festival” which will feature selected events in Phuket, Songkhla, Satun, Phatthalung, Krabi, Phang Nga and Surat Thani, with a budget of support of 177 million baht.

Other upcoming events in Phuket include “Phuket Beach Festival International Surfing Contest 2022” at Kata Beach (August 23-28), Phuket Sports City 2022 Race at Saphan Hin (September 3), Esther Bunny Women’s Health Race Run in Laguna (September 10-11), the World Under-23 Basketball Championship at Prince of Songkla University (September 3-17) and a World Bodybuilding Championship in December in Central Phuket.

Kristen T. Prall