Malaga's karate scene continues to fly high as its two best karatekas rose to the top step of the podium once again. Damián Quintero and María Torres didn't disappoint and once again were crowned champions of Spain last weekend at the Spanish championship, celebrated in the northern region of La Rioja.
It was Quintero's first appearance in a competition in four months, as he quietly trained for his return without being in the spotlight. He was waiting for the perfect moment and he chose a tournament in which he proved to be vastly superior to the competition and also brought him good memories.
As he reminisced on social media, the Olympic silver medallist's first national title in kata (choreographed karate moves) was also won in La Rioja in 2004. This time around, he won his eleventh by beating one of the up-and-coming stars of the future, Sergio Galván.
For her part, reigning world champion María Torres picked up her fourth national win in the kumite +68kg category (sparring), as she came into this tournament in great form, sealing her best-ever finish in the Premier League with a silver medal.
There were a wide range of local Malaga karatekas who picked up medals in the team events. The women's kumite team, which represented Andalucia and included María Torres and Carmen García, were runner-ups, losing out to the Community of Madrid.
The male Andalusian kumite team picked up bronze, with Malaga locals Manuel Martínez, Ángel Medina, Lorenzo Marín Víctor Pérez and Sergio Sáez all taking to the podium. The men's kata side also took third place, with Salvador Cisneros, José Miguel Quesada and Alejandro González representing Malaga province.
There were also two bronze medals in para-karate: Francisco Javier Pérez, in K21 intellectual impairment; and Javier Berenguer, in K22.