The finals of the Karate World Championships held in Madrid on Saturday brought very different results for Malaga stars Damián Quintero and María Torres. Quintero failed in his pursuit of his first solo gold in katas while Torres picked up bronze, her first professional medal in team kumite.
All eyes were on Quintero and the fight for world domination against current world number one, Ryo Kiyuna. The Torremolinos-born athlete looked focused, motivated and confident, showcasing some excellent karate.
Quintero certainly held his own, performing a spectacular Chatanyara Kushanku, which included a huge jump, drawing an applause from the crowds.
However, the Japanese was a formidable opponent; he perfectly held an Anan Dai, which is a highly complex move, and for a longer duration than Quintero. The judges voted unanimously (5-0) in his favour, leaving Quintero with just one title missing from his armoury.
Kiyuno, meanwhile, will go to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo as unbeaten champion since 2014.
Success for Torres
While Quintero’s silver left a bitter after taste, María Torres’ first senior international medal brought some sweetness.
The 21-year-old, alongside María Cristina Ferrer, Cristina Vizcaíno and Laura Palacio, powered through to the semi-finals after convincing wins against Mexico, Italy and Austria. However, defeat against one of the favourites, Japan, meant that the Spanish team had to face Iran in the final battle for bronze.
Both Ferrer and Palacio drew in their fights, but success was delivered by Vizcaíno as she defeated her Iranian rival 2-0. Torres, therefore, was not required to participate in this round.
She did, however, perform well versus Japan, securing a draw in her fight.
Elsewhere, the biggest Spanish success story was written by Sandra Sánchez who won gold in kata, beating Kiyou Shimizu 3-2.