Not held in other Games

Karate at the 2020 Summer Olympics

Dates 5 – 7 August 2021
Medal Events 8

Karate is a martial art that was developed in the Ryukyu Kingdom of Japan, around 1879. It is predominantly a striking art using elbow strikes, kicking, knee strikes, open hand techniques, and punching. When the IOC had allowed hosts to nominate additional sports in 2015, the Tokyo Organising Committee proposed karate as one such sport, as it is popular in Japan. This was approved by the IOC, although there were no guarantees of its inclusion in future Games. The karate events were held at the Nippon Budokan, the spiritual home of Japanese martial arts, which had hosted the 1964 Olympic judo competition. There are two different types of karate, namely Kumite and Kata.

Kumite is where two competitors face each other in a matted area measuring 8 metres by 8 metres. A contest ends once a competitor has amassed eight points more than their opponent, or after a maximum of three minutes when the competitor with the highest score wins. In the event of both competitors having the same number of points, the one who scored the first point(s) is declared the winner. In the event of no points being scored the winner is determined by a jury. Points were awarded for an ippon (3 points), waza-ari (2 points) or yuko (1 point.)

There were three different Kumite categories for men and women at the Games, as compared with five categories at the world championships. Women competed in the categories up to 55 kg, 55-61 kg, and over 61 kg (world championship categories were under 50 kg, 50-55 kg, 55-61 kg, 61-68 kg, and 68+ kg) For the men the categories were up to 67 kg, 67-75 kg, and over 75 kg (world championship categories were under 60 kg, 60-67 kg, 67-75 kg 75-84 kg, and 84+ kg)

Kata is a solo discipline where each competitor performs offensive and defensive moves against an imaginary opponent and is awarded marks out of 10 for each of their movements, some based on technical points (70% of marks) and others based upon athletic points (30% of marks), by seven different judges. The two highest and lowest marks are discarded.

There was a maximum of 11 competitors in each of the events, and a maximum of one nation per event. Although host nation Japan had high hopes of a number of medals from the sport, the medals were shared between 20 different nations, no nation winning more than 1 gold medal. Japan, however, did win the most medals overall (1 gold, 1 silver, and 1 bronze.)

Events

Event Status Date Participants NOCs
Kata, Men Olympic 6 August 2021 11 11
Kumite, ≤67 kg, Men Olympic 5 August 2021 10 10
Kumite, ≤75 kg, Men Olympic 6 August 2021 10 10
Kumite, >75 kg, Men Olympic 7 August 2021 10 10
Kata, Women Olympic 6 August 2021 10 10
Kumite, ≤55 kg, Women Olympic 5 August 2021 9 9
Kumite, ≤61 kg, Women Olympic 6 August 2021 10 10
Kumite, >61 kg, Women Olympic 7 August 2021 10 10
81 (42/39) 36 (25/25)

Medals

Event Gold Silver Bronze
Kata, Men Ryo KiyunaJPN Damián QuinteroESP Ali Sofuoğlu
Ariel Torres
TUR
USA
Kumite, ≤67 kg, Men Steven Da CostaFRA Eray ŞamdanTUR Abdel Rahman Al-Masatfa
Darkhan Assadilov
JOR
KAZ
Kumite, ≤75 kg, Men Luigi BusàITA Rafael AghayevAZE Gábor Hárspataki
Stanislav Horuna
HUN
UKR
Kumite, >75 kg, Men Sajad GanjzadehIRI Tareg HamediKSA Ryutaro Araga
Uğur Aktaş
JPN
TUR
Kata, Women Sandra SánchezESP Kiyou ShimizuJPN Grace Lau
Viviana Bottaro
HKG
ITA
Kumite, ≤55 kg, Women Ivet GoranovaBUL Anzhelika TerliuhaUKR Bettina Plank
Wen Tzu-Yun
AUT
TPE
Kumite, ≤61 kg, Women Jovana PrekovićSRB Yin XiaoyanCHN Giana Lotfy
Merve Çoban
EGY
TUR
Kumite, >61 kg, Women Feryal AshrafEGY Iryna ZaretskaAZE Gong Li
Sofya Berultseva
CHN
KAZ

Medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Japan JPN 1 1 1 3
Spain ESP 1 1 0 2
Egypt EGY 1 0 1 2
Italy ITA 1 0 1 2
Bulgaria BUL 1 0 0 1
France FRA 1 0 0 1
Islamic Republic of Iran IRI 1 0 0 1
Serbia SRB 1 0 0 1
Azerbaijan AZE 0 2 0 2
Turkey TUR 0 1 3 4
People's Republic of China CHN 0 1 1 2
Ukraine UKR 0 1 1 2
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia KSA 0 1 0 1
Kazakhstan KAZ 0 0 2 2
Austria AUT 0 0 1 1
Chinese Taipei TPE 0 0 1 1
Hong Kong, China HKG 0 0 1 1
Hungary HUN 0 0 1 1
Jordan JOR 0 0 1 1
United States USA 0 0 1 1