Karate: Maryam Ajaray reaches the final in Antalya


The young Belgian karateka won a magnificent silver medal in a Premier League competition, the equivalent of a judo Grand Slam, i.e. the highest level of international competition.

In January, Maryam Ajaray won a gold medal in Athens. But this title was won in Serie A, the second tier of international competition.

On the tatami mats in Antalya, Turkey, the 21-year-old Belgian achieved a far greater feat in the under 61 kg category, reaching the final of a Premier League event, the highest level of international competition.

To achieve this, the Brussels-based member of the Fédération Francophone de Karaté first won her qualifying pool after her bouts against France's Sivert, Scotland's McNab and Sweden's Nilsson. In the quarter-finals, Maryam Ajaray managed to beat Germany's Khamis, the reigning European champion. She then defeated Japan's Yuki Kujuro in the semi-final.

In the final, however, the Belgian karateka was defeated by the Moroccan Chajai, the current African champion.

According to the experts, this top-level sportswoman has undeniable room for improvement, and her list of achievements will certainly be enhanced by a many more trophies.