KARATE: Phuket welcomes the “Thailand Karate-Do Championship 2022” to its shores tomorrow (Aug 19), the first time the prestigious event has been held outside of Bangkok.
The five-day tournament, running Aug 19-23, will be held at Phuket Rajabhat University and is being organized by Phuket Province in collaboration with the Thailand Karate Federation (TKF), the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) and the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF).
The tournament is expected to attract around 800 people, including athletes from over 20 countries, some of whom have competed at the Olympic Games.
It is also anticipated to attract well over 1,000 fans and keen followers of the sport, which will be a welcome boost to the local economy and tourism industry still reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The tournament returns to action after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic forcing repeated cancellation.
The competition will be supervised by an Organizing Committee formed by the TKF and will be open to male and female athletes to compete in team and individual contests within the Kata and Kumite classes.
Athletes aged 18 and above will compete in the senior age group with weight categories for women ranging from 50kg to 68kg and 55kg to 84kg for men. Each bout will last three minutes.
Only contests in the senior Kumite class will award cash prizes in each respective weight category with US$500 (B17,000) for 1st place, $300 for 2nd place and $200 for third. Furthermore, $700 will be awarded to male teams and $400 to female teams in each category of the Kumite team contests.
There is also a junior age category for male and female athletes aged 14-17 to contest individual Kata and Kumite bouts which will last two minutes. Additionally, there are under-14, under-12 and under-10 categories where contestants will participate in 90-second bouts in individual Kata and Kumite classes.
The “Thailand Karate-Do Championship 2022” is part of the “Air Sea Land Southern International Sports Tourism Festival” that will showcase selected events in Phuket, Songkhla, Satun, Phatthalung, Krabi, Phang Nga and Surat Thani, with a supporting budget of B177 million.
Further upcoming events to be hosted in Phuket include the “Phuket Beach Festival International Surfing Contest 2022” at Kata Beach (Aug 23-28), the Phuket Sports City 2022 Run at Saphan Hin (Sept 3), the Esther Bunny Women’s Health Run at Laguna (Sept 10-11), the Basketball Under-23 World Championship at Prince of Songkla University (Sept 3-17) and a Bodybuilding World Championship in December at Central Phuket.