It wasn't the long-awaited comeback he might have wanted, but a bronze medal was enough for Damián Quintero to regain the feel for karate. The Olympic and World Championship runner-up returned to action last weekend in the Karate Premier League's second event of the year, this time held in Matonsinhos (Portugal). Quintero was unfortunate to not make it to the final; his first day competing left a lot to be desired, and he was left to fight for third place.
The Malaga local defeated fellow Olympian Ariel Torres, who won bronze at the 2020 Olympic Games, thanks to a flawless execution of the Ohan Dai Kata (a variation of the usual exhibition of blows and defences without physical combat).
It's another medal to add to his list of accolades, but it wasn't enough for the ambitious Quintero. "It was a tournament with highs and lows that served as a test before the first big objective of the year, the European Championships. I'm going to continue working hard back home," he wrote on his social media channels.
He was the only Malaga local to pick up a medal in Matosinhos. The kumite +68kg world champion, María Torres, was eliminated before getting the chance to fight for second place. She was unable to retain her most recent silver medal, which she won at the first Premier League event of the year.