Karate at the 2020 Summer Olympics

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at the Games of the XXXII Olympiad
Pictograms for kata (left) and kumite (right)
VenueNippon Budokan
Dates5–7 August 2021
No. of events8
Competitors82 from 36 countries
(including 2  EOR athletes)

Karate at the 2020 Summer Olympics was an event held in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. It was the debut appearance of karate at the Summer Olympics. Karate was one of four new sports added to the Olympic program specifically for 2020,[1] rather than as a permanent sport.[2][3]

The karate competitions at the 2020 Olympics featured eight events.[4] Two karate disciplines were featured: kumite was the sparring discipline and had three weight classes each for men and women; kata was the solo form discipline, and had one event each for men and women. Competitors chose the kata to demonstrate from 102 kata that were recognized by the World Karate Federation. Competitors were not allowed to demonstrate the same kata twice during the tournament.[4] Each event had 10 competitors.

The three weight classes in Olympic competition for kumite were in contrast to the five normally used by the World Karate Federation (WKF). The two lightest (-60 kg and -67 kg for men, -50 kg and -55 kg for women) were combined into the Olympic categories of -67 kg for men and -55 kg for women. The middle categories (-75 kg men, -61 kg women) were unchanged, while the two heaviest categories (-84 kg and +84 kg for men, -68 kg and +68 kg for women) were combined into +75 kg for men and +61 kg for women.


For both kumite and kata, WKF rules, effective as of January 2018, have been adopted.[5][6] In January 2019, a point-based system was adopted for kata.[7]


Two competitors face each other in a matted competition area of 8 m × 8 m (26 ft × 26 ft). Each match is competed for 3 minutes, unless one competitor amasses eight points more than their opponent.[7] A competitor wins by amassing eight points more than their opponent or by gaining more points than their opponent in the allotted time of 3 minutes. In the event of a tie, the competitor who scored the first point is the winner. In the case of a scoreless bout, the winner will be declared by decision of the five judges.[7][6]

Scores vary from one to three points.

  • Ippon for 3 points
  • Waza-ari for 2 points
  • Yuko for 1 point.[6]

Penalties are divided into two categories. If 4 warnings are received in either category, the competitor is disqualified.[6] A competitor can also be disqualified with less than 4 warnings for being deemed an act done maliciously.[6]


Each of seven judges evaluates the performance individually within the scale of 5.0 to 10.0, in increments of 0.2 for technical points and athletic points respectively. The two highest and two lowest scores out of the seven scores of each group are eliminated and all the remaining scores are added to make up the final scores, which is weighed 70% for technical points and 30% for athletic points. In the case of a draw, the competitors perform an additional choice of kata to be judged.[6]

There are 7 criteria of evaluation for technical points: stances, techniques, transitional movements, timing, correct breathing, focus and conformance. 3 evaluation criteria for athletic points are: strength, speed and balance.[6]


There are 80 qualifying spots for karate at the 2020 Summer Olympics.

A nation can have no more than 8 athletes qualify (up to four males and four females) with a maximum of one in each event.


The 10 competitors in each event qualify as follows:

  • 1 from the host nation, Japan
  • 4 from the Olympic Standing ranking as of 5 April 2021
  • 3 from the Olympics Karate 2020 Qualification Tournament
  • 2 from continental representation or Tripartite Commission invitation

Because World Karate Federation rankings are based on five weight classes instead of the three weight classes featured in the 2020 Olympics, some of the Olympic events are based on a combination of two WKF classes. In those cases, the top 2 from each of the WKF classes qualify for the combined Olympic class (for a total of 4). Where the Olympic class matches the WKF class, the top 4 in that class qualify.

The qualification tournament features the same weight classes as the Olympic weight classes. Only National Olympic Committees (NOCs) that have not qualified through Olympic standing for a given division are eligible to enter an athlete in the qualification tournament. The top three finishers in each division at the qualification tournament qualify for the Olympics.

A total of 10 quota places, distributed among the eight events, are available through continental representation. The selection order is as follows:

Continent Spots
Oceania 2 1 per gender
Africa 2 1 per gender
North America 2 1 per gender
Asia 2 1 per gender
Europe 2 1 per gender
Africa 1 either gender
South America 1 either gender

For each continent, all of the gold medalists at the continental games are considered together. The highest ranked among this group earns the qualification spot unless that competitor is already qualified or otherwise cannot be selected without violating any of the following limitations: 10 athletes per division, 1 athlete per NOC per division, 2 athletes per NOC through continental representation (affecting only Africa and the Americas). If the highest-ranked gold medalist cannot be entered, then the next-highest ranked gold medalist qualifies if possible. This process goes through all gold medalists by ranking, then all silver medalists by ranking, then all bronze medalists by ranking until the continent's qualifying spots are filled. If none of the medalists can be entered, the highest-ranked eligible athlete from that continent in the rankings (regardless of finish at the continental games) qualifies.

Participating nations[edit]

List of countries competing in Karate.[8]


Event↓/Date → Aug 5[10] Aug 6[11] Aug 7[12]
Men's 67kg F
Men's 75kg F
Men's +75kg F
Men's kata F
Women's 55kg F
Women's 61kg F
Women's +61kg F
Women's kata F


Medal table[edit]

  *   Host nation (Japan)

1 Japan*1113
2 Spain1102
3 Egypt1012
5 Bulgaria1001
9 Azerbaijan0202
10 Turkey0134
11 China0112
13 Saudi Arabia0101
14 Kazakhstan0022
15 Austria0011
 Chinese Taipei0011
 Hong Kong0011
 United States0011
Totals (20 entries)881632


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Ryo Kiyuna
Damián Quintero
Ariel Torres
 United States
Ali Sofuoğlu
67 kg
Steven Da Costa
Eray Şamdan
Darkhan Assadilov
Abdelrahman Al-Masatfa
75 kg
Luigi Busà
Rafael Aghayev
Gábor Hárspataki
Stanislav Horuna
+75 kg
Sajjad Ganjzadeh
Tareg Hamedi
 Saudi Arabia
Ryutaro Araga
Uğur Aktaş


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Sandra Sánchez
Kiyou Shimizu
Grace Lau
 Hong Kong
Viviana Bottaro
55 kg
Ivet Goranova
Anzhelika Terliuga
Bettina Plank
Wen Tzu-yun
 Chinese Taipei
61 kg
Jovana Preković
Yin Xiaoyan
Giana Farouk
Merve Çoban
+61 kg
Feryal Abdelaziz
Irina Zaretska
Gong Li
Sofya Berultseva

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "IOC approves five new sports for Olympic Games Tokyo 2020". International Olympic Committee. 18 February 2019. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  2. ^ "IOC Executive Board charts the course for future Olympic Games". International Olympic Committee. 9 June 2017. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  3. ^ "Breaking, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing provisionally included on Paris 2024 Olympic sports programme - Olympic News". International Olympic Committee. 1 July 2019. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Tokyo 2020: Karate". Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  5. ^ "オリンピックの空手組手競技ルールをわかりやすく解説|2020東京オリンピックを楽しむために! - 空手ロード". wka.jp.net. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "KATA AND KUMITE COMPETITION RULES" (PDF). WFK.net. 1 January 2019. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  7. ^ a b c "Olympic Sports : Karate|The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games". The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  8. ^ Karate World Olympic Qualification Tournament Results Book. World Karate Federation. Archived from the original on 14 June 2021
  9. ^ "Karate Competition Schedule". Tokyo 2020. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  10. ^ "Schedule - Thursday 06 Aug Tokyo 2020 Olympics". Olympian Database. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  11. ^ "Schedule - Friday 07 Aug Tokyo 2020 Olympics". Olympian Database. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  12. ^ "Schedule - Saturday 08 Aug Tokyo 2020 Olympics". Olympian Database. Retrieved 8 March 2020.

External links[edit]