Karate Fiji will hope to qualify an athlete for the sport which will feature for the first time in an Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan in 2020.

Karate Fiji’s Laverne Qiolevu said they hope to send an athlete (Male athlete) to the final qualifying event in May, 2020.

“But to meet the criteria to participate, he must improve his current World Karate Federation (WKF) ranking,” she said.

Laverne said the athlete they have chosen has been participating at K1 Premier events, and the Oceania Championship earlier this year which has helped improve his ranking considerably.

“For this to continue, he must participate at similar events in the months leading up to the final May, 2020 qualifier,” she said.

Laverne said the current National Coach, was also working under the guidance of a Mentor Coach, both of whom are working closely with their athlete for the next event, which is the K1 Premier League in Paris, France in late January.

Karate, a martial art which originated on the Japanese island of Okinawa, will make its first appearance on the Games programme at Tokyo 2020, with men and women competing in kata (forms) and kumite (sparring) events at the Nippon Budokan.

The Tokyo 2020 Games will feature two events, Kumite and Kata, with 80 athletes split 50/50 between men and women.

Eligibility will be determined by international rankings in the years leading up to Karate’s Olympic debut with each country or region fielding only one competitor.

So far only Team Fiji Rugby Sevens Men and Women have qualified for Tokyo, 2020 Olympic Games.

Other sports hoping to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games from Fiji include Athletics, Archery, Table Tennis, Shooting and Swimming.

Patrick Bower will be leading the contingent as Chef de Mission while Wayne O’Connor and Ajay Ballu have been named provisional General Managers, with confirmation of appointment subject to the final team size for Team Fiji.

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