Athletes João Vieira, in junior Kata, and Rita Marques, in cadet Kata, reached the highest place on the podium, in Merida, Mexico, this weekend. Both are supported by the municipal Programa de Patrocínio a Atletas de Alto Rendimento e Elevado Potencial Desportivo and are already two of the biggest young promises in the national karate.
Between September 21st and 24th, national karate shone in Mexico, with two athletes from Goju-Ryo Karate centre in Porto achieving the podium in junior and cadet kata, within the scope of Karate 1 Youth League. The competition featured 870 Karate athletes from 41 countries.
Portugal stood out in every modality in a competition that counts for the world rankings. João Vieira, with only 16 years old, won the golden medal, after beating athletes from the United States of America, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, Austria, and Canada. In the final, against the Italian Matacchioni Luigi, Viera was relentless winning without a doubt. The young man is, currently, on the second place in the world rankings.
Rita Marques also managed to stand out in the WKF World karate circuit competition, winning the final against an Italian athlete. The young girl from Porto can go down in national karate history if she manages to position herself as the first Portuguese athlete in the first place of the world rankings in the female cadet kata at the WKF (there is still one trial to be held in 2023).
This year alone, of the four Youth League already performed, Rita Marques won three medals in kata, two gold and one bronze. She also holds the title of European team Kata Champion, along with her teammates, Bárbara Ribeiro, and Lara Teixeira.
João Vieira and Rita Marques are part of the list of 29 athletes supported by the Programa Municipal de Patrocínio a Atletas de Alto Rendimento e Elevado Potencial Desportivo, launched by Porto City Hall, with the aim of supporting athletes in the most varied sports, like sailing, padel, karate, swimming, bocce, taekwondo, athletics, gymnastics, skate, tennis, surf and rhythm gymnastics.