GUADALAJARA, MEXICO - OCTOBER 28: Cheryl Murphy of the USA (Blue) fights Jhoanni Sierra of the Dominican Republis during a Karate match during Day 14 of the XVI Pan American Games at the San Rafael Parks Sports Complex on October 28, 2011 in Guadalajara, Mexico. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Colorado Springs, CO - USA Karate has qualified five of its top athletes to compete in the World Games July 26-28 in Cali Colombia and three athletes to compete in the World Combat Games October 18-26 in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Cheryl Murphy (Jamaica Queens, NY) , Sakura Kokumai (Honolulu, HI), Tom Scott (Richardson, TX), Brandis Miyazaki (Honolulu, HI) & Brian Ramrup (New York, NY) qualified to represent the United States at the World Games in Cali, Colombia based upon performances at the 2012 Pan American Karate Championships in Managua, Nicaragua. Murphy (Female -68kg Kumite), Kokumai (Female Kata), Scott (Male -75kg Kumite), and Miyazaki (Male -60kg Kumite) each took the gold medal in their respective categories while Ramrup (Male -67kg Kumite) narrowly missed the gold to take the silver. These impresive performances led the way for Team USA to take the top overall honors at the event. Ramrup & Kokumai went on to take a Bronze Medal at the 2012 World Karate Championships in Paris, France later in the year.
USA Karate qualified more athletes than any other country in the Pan American region for the World Games and is second only to France for top qualification honors in the world. The World Games has been identified as a US Olympic Committee Operation Gold Event for Karate for 2013.
"I'm pleased but not surprised," said USA Karate Head Coach Tokey Hill. "We have some of the best athletes in the world, and they are showing the world what they are made of. I know we will represent the United States well."
Murphy, Kokumai, & Scott qualified for World Combat Games in St. Petersburg, Russia based upon performance at the 2013 Pan American Karate Championships held last month in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Murphy (Female -68kg Kumite) and Kokumai (Female Kata) each took gold while Scott (Male -75kg Kumite) took silver leading Team USA to a second place overall finish.
"Our US athletes are just continuing to show that they deserve to be counted amongst the best," said USA Karate Chief Executive Officer Jake Lease. "Their performances are a testament not only to Coach Hill and his staff, but to the incredible development that is occurring at our USA Karate Clubs. We've got great coaches at all levels and that is what's responsible for our success."
For more information about the World Games, visit www.theworldgames.org. For more information regarding World Combat Games visit www.worldcombatgames.com.