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USA Karate Announces Delegation for Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

June 29, 2021, 4:02 p.m. (ET)

USA Karate announced today the full U.S. delegation for the upcoming Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Karate is one of five sports added to the Olympic program and making its debut this summer at the Games. The sport will feature two separate events: kata, which is a solo form of karate, and kumite which focuses more on sparring.

Representing Team USA’s first ever Olympic Karate team will be Sakura Kokumai (Los Angeles, CA), Ariel Torres (Miami, FL), Brian Irr (Plano, TX), and Tom Scott (Plano, TX). Athlete qualification pending United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee approval.

Sakura Kokumai qualified in the first phase of qualification, securing her Olympic spot by ranking top four in the world in the female kata division. Kokumai selected Brian Mertel to be her on-site coach at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. 

Ariel Torres punched his ticket to Tokyo when he won gold at the World Karate Federation Olympic Qualification Tournament in Paris; confirming his status as a favorite in the male kata division.  Javier Mantilla was chosen as Torres’ coach for his Olympic debut. 

Brian Irr is the third member of the USA Karate Olympic team, qualifying as the continental representation from the Pan-American Karate Federation’s continental games. He will be competing in the +75 male kumite category. Irr invited coach Brody Burns to sit in his chair.

Tom Scott qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games as an alternate in the -75kg category. Tom's performance through the Olympic qualification process left him exactly where he needed to be is a spot became available. The team's Captain America is heading to Tokyo!. Brody Burns has been selected as Tom's coach. 

The USA Karate team will be guided by Team Leader, Elizabeth Sottile these Olympic Games.

Other USA Karate delegation members include Fariba Madani, Referee; Jose Fraguas, Press Officer; Nicole Clinton, Athletic Trainer; Jessica Bartley, Sport Psychologist; and Maile Chinen, Venue Coordinator.

Karate competition will take place at the Nippon Budokan, the iconic Japanese martial arts venue, on August 5-7, 2021. USA karate athletes will be competing each day of competition: Kokumai on August 5, Torres and Scott on August 6, and Irr on the 7th