Athletes, Coaches and Officials,
USA Karate announces that the 2020 Senior National Team will represent the United States at the Pan American Continental Karate Championship in Curacao in May 2021 and at the World Karate Federation World Championships in Dubai in November 2021.
A number of factors have gone into this decision. We consulted with the Athlete Advisory Committee, Board of Directors, Referees, our USOPC Sport Performance Team and the USOPC Athlete Ombudsman. Our primary concern is the safety of our athletes and officials. The Covid-19 pandemic has limited our ability to hold an event. We were planning on February or March for the 1ststage and the USA Open for the 2ndstage. Given the current state we have lost the opportunity to run an event in February or March. The USA Open has been moved to December 15-19 due to the current restrictions in Las Vegas.
We also looked at the ability for athletes to train. Many areas of the country are limiting the training and most areas are still preventing athletes from training in kumite. One point our athlete representatives brought up was that announcing the athletes now would allow the 24 PFK and 12 WKF competitors to look for alternatives to train for those events. We believe this option gives our athletes the best opportunity to prepare for the upcoming events.
We did spend a lot of time on the decision to include the World Championships in this decision at this time. Given all the events we still have planned for second half of the year we would have an extremely hard time being able to schedule in a stage 2 competition provided we could still hold the National Championship in July. While we expect to hold the Nationals there is still a lot of debate over when we will get back to a more normal ability to train and hold events. We have already determined that the 2021 Nationals will not require participation in a qualifier event. The other factor is that the WKF has stated that this is a postponement of the World Championship and in that case the athletes deserve the right to compete in the World Championship they qualified in.
While I realize this message will be met with mixed emotions, I want to assure our athletes that the decisions were not made easily. We looked at it from the set of facts on our available options. I believe that with the input of the AAC, Board and USOPC we have selected the best option available. We look forward to getting back to training and competition as soon as we can safely.
Chief Executive Officer
USA National Karate-do Federation