Japan proved its dominance in the sport of Karate when it took first and second place in the Men's Single title of the World Karate Championships at Long Beach, California.
GV Rivera (Dominican Republic) v. Paschy (France) as crowd look on (2 shots)
GV Rivera and Paschy spar, before attack as judge watches
GV Referee breaks fighters and ends fight as crowd watches
GV Fighters bow and shake hands, Rivera announced winner, crowd
GV Start of final bout Murakami (Japan) v. Yamaguchi (Japan) First point to Murakami, bout continues and ends in no score, crowd
GV Contest continues, no score, Murakami wins fight (2 shots)
GV Murakami receiving award
Initials BB/2355 JA/DW/BB/0015
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Background: Japan proved its dominance in the sport of Karate when it took first and second place in the Men's Single title of the World Karate Championships at Long Beach, California.
The winner of the Men's event was Kunio Murakami and second place was taken by his Japanese team mate, Yamaguchi.
Britain won the Team Event when they defeated Japan in the final.
More than thirty five countries took part in the Championships.
Britain managed to avoid the stronger teams in the early stages of the competition but proved their worth when they beat Japan in the final, 2-1.
The Netherlands won the bronze medal by defeating the strong Philippines team on a count back after a 2-2 draw.
SYNOPSIS: Long Beach, California, in the United States of America, where the World Karate Championships have just concluded. Here Rivera of the Dominican Republic fights against Paschy of France.
Karate is an ancient sport that has its origins in China and India more than a thousand years ago. It is meant to assist spiritual as well as physical aspects of those taking part.
Each movement of the contestants is part of a well disciplined set of actions, which they practise for many hours each day. Here Rivera defeats his French opponent to take third place.
The large crowds that attended the Championships were an example of how popular the Sport of Karate has become in the Western world.
The final of the Men's event attracted large interest even though it was between two contestants from the country that is traditionally known for the sport, Japan. Kunio Murakami versus his fellow team mate Yamaguchi, showed those who attended the Championships the finer points of the sport which the Japanese claim they have perfected to an art.
Despite the dominance of the Japanese in the Men's individual event it was the European countries that have usually made an impression on the Team Event. Last year France won the team section of the Championships and this year it was Britain that took the title. Although the British team avoided the stronger teams in the early stages of the competition they put up a spirited exhibition against the Japanese team to take the title.
But it was the Men's single event that attracted most of the interest in this year's competition. And Murakami showed that he was a true Karate champion with his physical and spiritual approach to the competition.