Ariel Torres Gives Team USA First-Ever Olympic Medal in Karate at Tokyo Games

2020 Tokyo Games

Ariel Torres has given America is first-ever Olympic medal in karate…

The 23-year-old Cuban-born American karateka took home the bronze in the men’s kata event, the non-fighting karate discipline known as “forms,” at the 2020 Tokyo Games in the sport’s Olympic debut.

Ariel Torres

Torres outscored Venezuela’s Antonio Jose Diaz Fernandez 26.72-26.34 for the bronze.

“All the Glory To GOD!” Torres wrote on Twitter shortly after winning his medal. “My family… WE DID IT!!!!!!!!! Thank you for always supporting my dream and for all the sacrifices you made for me to keep fighting.”

Japan’s Ryo Kiyuna won gold and Spain’s Damian Quintero took the silver, while Turkey’s Ali Sofuoglu beat South Korea’s Heejun Park for the second bronze of the event.

Scoring is based on 10 criteria. Athletes are evaluated on seven technical points (stances, techniques, transitional movements, timing, correct breathing, focus and conformance) as well as three athletic points (strength, speed and balance).

Ariel Torres

There are seven judges, each of whom gives a score between 5 and 10, in increments of 0.2 points, for both technical and athletic performance. The highest two and lowest two scores from each is dropped, and the remaining three scores are added together. Technical performance counts for 70 percent of an athlete’s final score. Athletic performance counts for the remaining 30 percent.

Karate was one of four new sports added to the sports programme for the Tokyo Olympics, joining skateboarding, sports climbing and surfing. Softball and baseball also made their return to the games for the first time since 2008.

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