<b>Indonesia.</b> Indonesia brought home 66 medals at the first Asia-Pacific Hayashi-Ha Shito Ryu Kai karate championships on Sunday, besting rival countries in the two-day tournament held in Jakarta.
The Indonesian team won first place overall with 14 gold, 20 silver and 22 bronze medals. The Malaysians, meanwhile, won 13 gold, 10 silver and six bronze medals, taking home second place.
Among those who rallied for the home team were Rara N, who topped the girls’ individual kata or artistic form competition (8-9 years old division); Ramdani, who won the boys’ individual kata (10- 11 years old division) and Isnal, who finished first in the individual kumite or combat category (10-11 years old division).
Markus Basuki — the founder of the karate group Gabdika Shito-ryu Kai Indonesia, which organized the championships — said he was proud of the Indonesian team, which had two members from the Indonesian Karate-do Federation’s (Forki) national training team.
“They were able to show fair play and maturity, as well as sportsmanship, which are all values that we teach in our karate house,” Markus said.
Gabdika, which has 18 schools nationwide, also held a Kobudo, or martial arts weapons, demonstration. The event was the first international karate competition hosted by a karate school in Indonesia.
The competition, which ran from July 31 to Aug. 1, showcased 68 categories.
Iran was third overall with 11 gold, 11 silver and six bronze medals, followed by Japan with 10 gold, five silver and two bronze medals. Singapore followed at fifth place with two silver and three bronze medals.
Mehdi Ebrahim, the Iran team manager, said a growing number of Iranians are taking up karate, not just for sports competitions, but for self-defense. “We’ve had many conflicts in our country, and people are aware that they need to learn karate,” he said.
Karate is the third most popular sport in Iran, behind football and weightlifting.