With the first 40 Olympic qualified athletes announced earlier this week, all eyes are on Paris as Phase 2 of Olympic qualification is just around the corner.
It is expected that around 800 karate athletes from all over the world will compete at the Olympic qualification event. On June 11-13, seven American karateka will fight for their spot on the Olympic roster.
The top three athletes at the end of the qualification event in each one of the eight categories will directly qualify for Karate’s Olympic debut in Tokyo. This event will qualify up to 24 athletes to the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Athletes will compete in the eight Olympic categories: Female Kumite -55 kg, -61 kg, +61 kg, Male Kumite -67 kg, -75 kg, +75 kg, Male and Female Kata.
Here are the American karate athletes to watch and cheer for next month as they compete for their spot on the Olympic qualification list.
Trinity Allen, Kumite -55kg
The youngest athlete on the USA Karate National Team, Trinity is a second-degree black belt who has represented USA Karate in 16 countries. She has been training international in preparation for this event and has her sights set on Tokyo!
Elisa Au, Kumite -61kg
3x World Champion 2004, 2004, 2002. World Championships Silver 2004.
Starting karate at the age of 5 at a YMCA class across the street, Elisa is now competing internationally on the USA National Team. As a business owner and mom of two, Elisa juggles a very full schedule in hopes of competing on the biggest world stage at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Cirrus Lingl, Kumite +68kg
Pan American Games Bronze 2019.
With her parents as her heroes and teammates as her inspiration, Cirrus’s biggest win is yet to come! She is always pushing to be the best version of herself and has been training hard for the qualification event. Cirrus has hopes of joining the first ever Olympic karate team.
Brian Hilliard, Kumite -67kg
Karate athlete since the age of seven and 8x USA National Team Member, Hilliard is looking to make his dreams come true of qualifying to compete at the Olympic Games.
Tom Scott, Kumite -75kg
US Karate team captain. Pan American Games Gold 2019, 2015; Silver 2011.
PKF Gold 2019, 2018, 2015, 2014, 2012; Silver 2013, 2011; Bronze 2017, 2016, 2014.
A 4th Dan in WIKF Wado Kokusai Karate and 15x National Champion, Tom is on a mission to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games. A 30-year-old native of Texas who started training in wado-ryu karate at age 8 under instructor Brody Burns, Tom Scott gives full credit for his success to his sensei and to the work ethic that the martial artist instilled in him.
Brian Irr, Kumite +75kg
Pan American Games Gold 2019. PKF Gold 2018, Bronze 2019, 2017, 2015.
Irr started karate at age 8 in Newfane and competed out of Lockport. By the time Brian had reached his teens, he was winning at the national level. When he learned that karate would be added to the Olympic menu for the 2020 games in Tokyo, he decided to take things to a new level. He moved to Dallas so that he could train and compete with the best in the world. Brian is ready to compete for his spot on the Olympic karate team.
Ariel Torres, Kata
Pan American Games Silver 2019. PKF Championships Gold 2019; Bronze 2018.
Starting karate at the age of 6, Ariel discovered the sport of karate from the recommendation from his childhood doctor. Being a high energy, hyper active kid, karate helped tire him out and taught him discipline. Having practiced karate now for over 16 years, Ariel is hoping to make the first ever Olympic karate team.
Who will join Sakura Kokumai as part of Team USA? Stay tuned to find out!