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Rafael Ibañez. RFEK
Controversy as Malaga-based karateka has call-up for World Championships withdrawn
Martial arts

Controversy as Malaga-based karateka has call-up for World Championships withdrawn

José Rafael Ibáñez has shared his disappointment after having his call-up for the Spanish team to compete at the upcoming World Championships revoked

Marina Rivas

Malaga

Friday, 13 October 2023, 17:18

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Malaga-based José Rafael Ibáñez has shared his disappointment after having his call-up for the Spanish team to compete at the upcoming World Championships revoked in what he has described as an "an incomprehensible and unilateral decision".

In what was supposed to be a major landmark in his career, the 22-year-old from La Rioja was initially selected as part of the Spanish team - also containing Damián Quintero, María Torres, Zsamoran Shotte and Salva Balbuena from the province - heading to Belgrade.

However, after telling national coach Iván Leal that, due to work commitments, he needed to join the training camp in Madrid a few hours later than originally planned, he was later informed that "for various reasons" he would no longer be included in the team.

Having won an impressive 12 Spanish champion titles in all categories, including senior, Ibáñez, who is considered one for the future of Spanish karate, cannot believe the decision: "I had been waiting for this World Championship for many years and had been training hard for a long time."

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