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Sakura is now world No. 1


Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Sakura Alforte is now the No. 1 female kata under-21 player in the world in the latest World Karate Federation rankings.

Alforte, 20, has a total of 2465 points after ruling the Karate1 Youth League in A Coruña, Spain last 27 April.

She also placed third in the U21 Karate Championship 2021 in Kazakhstan and the WKF U21 World Championships in Turkey and the 18th Asian Senior, 20th Asian Cadet, Junior & U21 Championships in Uzbekistan in 2022.

Italy’s Elena Roversi is in second place in the world rankings with 2365 points while Natacha Fernandes of Portugal is in third place with 2215 points.

Karate Pilipinas recently congratulated Alforte for her latest feat.

“Congratulations to Karate Pilipinas National Team Member Sakura Alforte! She is currently ranked No. 1 in the World under-21 of the WKF Ranking. Omedetou Sakura!” the federation said in a social media post.

The Filipino-Japanese athlete is slated to compete in the AKF Senior Championships in Melaka, Malaysia from 21 to 23 July.

Karate Pilipinas president Richard Lim said Alforte could see herself competing in the Karate1 Premier League should she win it all in the Asian tilt.

“The reason why we are letting her join the Asian Championships is so that the continental judges see her. She needs exposure so that the people will know her,” Lim said.

“Her ranking in the senior level is currently at No. 51. If she makes it into the top 32, she will be invited to join,” Lim said.

“It can happen if she wins the Asian Championships.”

Alforte is expected to lead the team in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China with 32nd SEA Games gold medalist Jamie Lim and SEA Games silver medalist Junna Tsukii.


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