Antonio Díaz (karateka)
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Díaz at the Paris 2012 WKF Championships
|Full name||Antonio José Díaz Fernández|
June 12, 1980 (age 38)|
Antonio José Díaz Fernández (born June 12, 1980 in Caracas) is a Venezuelan karateka. He is best known for winning gold medals in kata at the World Championships in Serbia (2010) and France (2012), winning of the World Games in Cali, Colombia (2013), and Duisburg, Germany (2015), and a silver medal in the World Championships in Japan 2008. He won bronze medals at the WKF World Championships in karate in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2014, and 2016 in the men's individual kata. He has also won the Pan American Karate Federation Senior Championships Gold Medal 15 times to date.
Antonio has been dominating the sport of karate for some time in the kata division. His main rival was Luca Valdesi. Their meetings have been fierce, 19 in total, with the Venezuelan having won nine of their competitions.
Díaz practices the style of Shito-ryu.
He participated in his first Pan American Championship when he was thirteen years of age and won, for the first time, first place in kumite. Up to the age of seventeen he won mostly in the division of kumite.
Diaz’s first achievement was reaching gold at the 5th Young Pan American Karate Do Championship back in 1993 in Salinas, Puerto Rico. He participated in the young competitions until the 2000 staging held in Orlando, Florida, winning the event in the 18-20 years old category. He also reached the second place in the 1996 staging held in Margarita Island, Venezuela, and in 1998 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He reached the third place in Medellin 1997.
Diaz won his first Olympic Cycle competition at the 1998 Central American and Caribbean Games held in Maracaibo, Venezuela. Nowadays, Diaz holds the record in Venezuela of participation and medals in Olympic Cycle competitions: two gold medals at the Bolivarian Games, four at the South American Games, five at the Central American and Caribbean Games, and one gold and one silver at the Pan American Games.
He participated at the Young WKF World Championship in 1999 in Sofia, Bulgaria, where finished ninth.
Diaz has participated at the PKF Pan American Championship since 1998 achieving gold 16 times and reaching the podium in every edition.
He won the two first staging of the Premier League Karate1 in 2011 and 2012.
Karate World Championships
The Karate World Championships are the highest level of competition for karate organised by the World Karate Federation. Antonio Diaz has reached the podium in the kata category eight times. He has won the gold twice, holding the world champion title.
His first participation at the Karate World Championships was at the 13th edition held in Sun City, South Africa in 1996. He finished at the 17th place. Two years later, in Rio de Janeiro 1998, he reached the eighth place. He continued climbing positions as he reached the 5th place in Munich 2000.
His earned his first medal in Madrid 2002 when he lost in the semi-finals against the Spanish Javier Hernández with the score 3-0. However, he won the bronze over the German B. Wolf. Monterrey 2004 was his second bronze medal after two repechage rounds. He won with a 5-0 score against the French Minh Dack and the Japanese H. Tsuchinda. Tampere 2006 became his third bronze medal. This time he would lose against the Italian Luca Valdesi in semi-finals. He won the repechage round against the English J. Motram with the score 4-1.
Tokyo 2008 was his first time at the final round. He earned the silver medal after losing a tight battle against Luca Valdesi with the score 3-2. His first gold medal would come two years later in Belgrado 2010 against Valdesi with the score 4-1.
In Paris 2012 he was World Champion again. Moreover, he finished with the perfect score of 5-0 all his encounters, an unprecedented situation in the competition. The final competition was against the local karateka Minh Dack.
The 2014 championship held in Bremen, Germany, was not easy for Diaz. He encountered at first round Mattia Busato, who was the European champion at that time. Nevertheless, he won with the tight score 3-2. He fell in quarter finals against the German Ilja Smorguner. However, he won the bronze after two repechage encounters against Mehmet Yakan and Ibrahim Magdy Ahmed, with a 3-2 score in both of the times.
He reached the podium in Linz 2016. This time he lost in semi-finals against Ryo Kiyuna with a 3-2 score, but he won the repechage with a 5-0 score against the Malaysian W. Lim Chee.
He won the 2012 World Karate Championships with a perfect score of 5-0 in every competition.
Díaz is the only athlete that has been in the podium eight times in a row at the World Karate Championships. This record comprises his medals from 2002 to 2016.
He is the only American athlete that has won 15 individual Pan-American Championships. Additionally, between January 2010 and August 2012, he did not lose any international encounter. He kept the first place at the WKF ranking for 4 consecutive years.
Between 2001 and 2012, Diaz encountered 19 times the Italian Luca Valdesi. Diaz won 9 times; their last encounter was during the Germany 2012 Premier League.
He encountered the Peruvian Akio Tamashiro 19 times. Diaz won 15 of those encounters.
Kiyuna is the current world champion in the kata category. He has encountered Diaz 6 times; Diaz won five of these occasions.
Diaz holds a Bachelor of Science in Communication with a Major in Advertisement by the Caracas-based Andrés Bello Catholic University. He also holds a Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach qualification by the US-based National Strength Conditioning Association.
- AVN. "Antonio Díaz un ejemplo digno del kárate venezolano", Caracas, 11 Apr 2011. Retrieved on 08 Jun 2017.
- Radio Mundial. "Antonio Díaz consiguió la segunda medalla de oro para Venezuela", Caracas, 31 Oct 2010. Retrieved on 08 Jun 2017.
- LaVoz. "Antonio Díaz es bicampeón del mundo", 24 Nov 2012. Retrieved on 08 Jun 2017.
- El Espectador. "El karateca Antonio Díaz obtuvo oro en los Juegos Mundiales", 27 Jul 2013. Retrieved on 08 Jun 2017.
- Contrapunto. "Antonio Díaz debuta este viernes en el Panamericano de Curazao", Caracas, 25 May 2017. Retrieved on 25 May 2017.
- El Nacional. "Antonio Díaz revalidó la corona panamericana en Curazao", Caracas, 29 May 2017. Retrieved on 08 Jun 2017.
- Sala de Espera. "Más que un deportista Antonio Díaz es un artista marcial", Aug 2013. Retrieved on 08 Jun 2017.
- Sports Venezuela. "Antonio Díaz participa en los Juegos Centroamericanos y del Caribe", 29 Nov 2014. Retrieved on 08 Jun 2017.
- El Periódico de Monagas. "Antonio Díaz conquistó un nuevo título", 18 Abr 2014. Retrieved on 08 Jun 2017.
- KARATEbyJesse. "Antonio Diaz – World Karate Champion (pt. 2)", 24 Mar 2011. Retrieved on 08 Jun 2017.
- Inside The Games. "Diaz secures 10th straight Pan American Karate Championships title in Curaçao", 27 May 2017. Retrieved on 08 Jun 2017.
- World Karate Federation. "NEW KINGS AND QUEENS OF THE WORLD GAMES CROWNED", 25 Jul 2017. Retrieved on 25 Jul 2017.
- El Universal. "Antonio Díaz revalidó el título en el Open de Salzburgo", 08 Dec 2012. Retrieved on 08 Jun 2017.
- 800Noticias. "Antonio Díaz y Andrés Madera ganan medallas de bronce en Mundial de Karate", 29 Oct 2016. Retrieved on 08 Jun 2017.
- La Nación. "El venezolano Antonio Díaz logra la plata en kata en el Mundial de karate", 14 Nov 2008. Retrieved on 08 Jun 2017.
- CubaSports. "Venezuelan Antonio Diaz Wins Gold in World Championship of Karate", 24 Nov 2012. Retrieved on 08 Jun 2017.
- El Venezolano News. "Venezolano Antonio Díaz conquistó medalla de bronce en Mundial de Karate", 29 Oct 2016. Retrieved on 08 Jun 2017.
- New Straits Times. "Four medal-finish still a possibility for Malaysia in World Karate Championships", 28 Oct 2016. Retrieved on 08 Jun 2017.
- El Universal. "Antonio Díaz: Fue un momento mágico", 24 Nov 2012. Retrieved on 08 Jun 2017.
- NotiTarde. "Octavo podio en fila De Antonio Díaz", 30 Oct 2016. Retrieved on 08 Jun 2017.
- Karate Records. "Antonio José Díaz Fernández: Complete karate results and charts - WKF". Retrieved on 08 Jun 2017.
- Karate y algo más..."Perseverancia, pasión y amor son claves en la carrera de Antonio Díaz", 10 Dec 2016. Retrieved on 08 Jun 2017.
- Unión Radio. "Antonio Díaz buscará el bronce en Campeonato Mundial de Karate", 26 Oct 2016. Retrieved on 08 Jun 2017.
- Correo del Caroní. "Antonio Díaz: en Venezuela hay un potencial muy grande en el karate", 17 Feb 2014. Retrieved on 08 Jun 2017.
- Antonio José Díaz Fernandez profile at KarateRec.com