In karate’s inaugural Olympics, Sánchez is the first of three champions.
J. Sánchez Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
Sandra Sánchez was a fitting champion to proudly display the sport’s first Olympic gold medal at the Budokan.
The 39-year-old Spanish champion, like karate itself, had to wait for a long time for her chance to reach the pinnacle of sports, a stage where she could demonstrate her expertise in front of a global audience.
She didn’t let everyone down when she got her chance to compete in the first Olympic karate events on Thursday night.
Sanchez’s Inspired Kata Performance at the Budokan was a Rousing Success.
She also thinks it did an excellent job of introducing millions of people to the competitive side of this well-known martial art, and she believes it won the hearts of those viewers.
Sánchez remarked on the temporary participation of her sport in the Olympics, describing it as “extremely significant” because it was the first time and possibly the final time.
As the author puts it, “the last year was incredibly hard for a lot of people, which makes these Olympic Games quite meaningful.”
In addition to Sánchez’s first place finish in kata, which is a show of form similar to a gymnastics floor exercise, karate also recognised two other first-time champions in kumite, which is competitive sparring.
The first two gold medals of the competition went to France’s Steven Da Costa in the 67-kilogram kumite and Bulgaria’s 21-year-old Ivet Goranova in the 55-kilogram women’s kumite.
But the gold medals were merely a bonus on a historic day for a martial art that gives its most dedicated practitioners a way of life to aspire to.
U.S. karateka Sakura Kokumai, who came in fourth place in women’s kata, said, “As a karate athlete, we’ve been doing this for the love of our sport and martial art.”
I hope People got to see what we do as Athletes,” Kokumai said.
We put in the time and effort to train just like any other athlete, and I truly believe we have earned our spot in the Olympics.
“Unfortunately, this will be the first and only time this happens; but, I am optimistic that we will be able to make a comeback in future Olympic competitions.
Sánchez is continually pushing karate to new heights after becoming the oldest Olympic champion in Spain’s rich sporting history.
She has dedicated her whole life to the martial art, and since the middle of the last decade, she has dominated competition across Europe, earning her the status of a national sports hero in Spain.
Sánchez’s gold medal victory came on her fifth wedding anniversary, making the day even more meaningful. Jesus Del Moral, her longtime trainer, is her husband.
She handed Del Moral the item and added, “This is my present to you,” prompting laughter from the latter. Inquiringly, “What is your gift now?”
With Del Moral’s Support
She has continued training far past what would be considered her prime as a professional karateka. She’d just won seven straight European titles in her discipline, and she brought that form to Tokyo, where she easily bested her younger rivals.
Despite karate’s exclusion from the Paris Olympics, Sánchez has no plans to give up the discipline. Sánchez plans to continue his karate training long after he receives his black belt.
“If I feel well and my body and my mind travel in the same direction, I will play more,” she remarked. “When my body and mind say, ‘Stop,’ OK, then we stop and enjoy other things,” she said.