With the start of a new year, USA Karate had its international debut at the Karate1 Series A which took place in Santiago, Chile from January 10th– 12th. Team USA was represented by 12 athletes competing against 466 total competitors from 65 countries. Team USA’s first event for 2020 had some huge successes and some tough losses:
Trinity Allen (-55kg) was defeated in the first round 0-1 against Bulgaria.
Dany Cabello (-60kg) defeated Brazil 1-1 in his first match, then fell to pool winner Kazakhstan 0-4 in the second round. Moving into the Repechage, Cabello was victorious throughout earning him a bronze medal finish. Brandon Nakajima-Wu (-60kg) was defeated in the first round 0-2 against Chile.
Tom Scott (-75kg) defeated Serbia, Canada, and Turkmenistan to move into the Pool Winner Tree. There, Scott fell 1-3 to Iran moving him to the bronze medal match against Turkey. In finals, Scott was defeated 2-3 and brought home fifth place.
After receiving a bye in the first round, Brian Irr (+84kg) won 4-1 against Chile, and then fell to pool winner Iran 1-3 in the third round. Irr went on to the repechage where he claimed a 2-0 victory against Canada moving him into the finals, where he took fifth place after falling 1-4 to Iran.
Sakura Kokumai and Ariel Torres went on to compete in the bronze medal match on Sunday. There, Kokumai secured a bronze medal finish and Torres claimed fifth place.
In her first Karate1 Event, Sarah Stallings placed 31stoverall in the Female Kata division.
Gakuji Tozaki and Jessica Kwong both placed 7th.
After some long and hard-fought matches, Team USA walked away with 2 bronze medals and a total of 7 Top 7 finishes. After this strong start, Team USA athletes will return home to Colorado Springs, CO to compete for their spot on the 2020 Senior National Team.