It has been an exciting second day of the Karate1 Open de Paris 2018.
There have been big upsets, with the majority of the WKF ranking leaders being knocked out early, and lots of excitement, with the underdogs charging forward and achieving big.
The person leading that charge is Yi Ta Wang.
This Chinese Taipei karateka is set to meet Ryo Kiyuna in the final of the Individual Male Kata, after already defeating two-time World Champion Antonio Diaz and world ranking leader Damian Quintero.
But who is this guy defeating all my favorite karatekas?
If you are keen to learn more about this “Giant Killer”, here is some of his career information, as well as his road to the final.
The first WKF international event Yi Ta Wang competed in was the 5th World Junior and Cadet Championships back in 2009, where he was unfortunately eliminated in the first round of the Cadet Male Kata.
Yi Ta’s first international appearance in the Male Kata division was in North Korea at the Karate1 World Cup in 2012, where he placed third, winning his first WKF medal.
Since then, Wang has competed in thirteen WKF competitions (amongst other national and domestic tournaments).
Some of his career highlights include: third at the 14th AKF Senior Championships in 2017, second place at the East Asian Championships 2017, second place at the East Asian Championships in 2016, seventh place at the 21st World Senior Karate Championships and fifth place at the Karate1 Premier League Paris in 2013.
Wang’s performance has recently increased, having placed third at the AKF Senior Championships late last year, and is now in the final of the Open de Paris.
Road to the final
Yi Ta started his road to the final with a 5:0 win against England, followed by a close 3:2 victory over Italy.
It was in the third round where he gained some attention.
Yi Ta was the underdog going into his third round matchup against karate star Damian Quintero, where he created a major upset by beating the current world ranking leader 3:2.
The toughest challenge Wang would face after beating Quintero was keeping his composure and not getting ahead of himself. He had to focus at the task at hand, as the hard work wasn’t over yet.
He then faced the 2014 world runner up Ila Smorguner, where he comfortably beat the on-form German 4:1.
The only person standing in Wang’s path to the final was legendary karateka Antonio Diaz. Once again, Yi Ta created another shocking upset, beating the two-time World Champion 4:1, solidifying his spot in the final.
The Chinese Taipei karateka will be versing the reigning two-time World Champion Ryo Kiyuna for gold.
Win or lose, Wang will be happy with his performance, as it will be the best result of his career so far.
We wish Yi Ta Wang luck against the total Japanese dominance, bringing hope for every “non-Japanese” karateka 🙂
I may be rooting for the underdog, but who are you rooting for? Let me know down below.
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