TOKYO -- A karate tournament was held at the Nippon Budokan martial arts hall on Oct. 4 for the first time since its renovation in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, with competitors wearing special helmets in a bid to avoid infection.
The 63rd Kanto University Karatedo Championships was the first large-scale karate tournament held after the spread of the novel coronavirus, and athletes who partook in kumite competitions wore protective headgear with an attached plastic shield that that covered openings near their mouths to prevent the spread of infections.
Yui Haga, a fourth-year student and captain of Kokushikan University's team, who won the female kumite competition for the first time, commented, "The shield first made me feel suffocated, but I didn't mind it during the competition."
Teikyo University's karate team sealed their third consecutive success and 14th victory in the men's kumite division, as well as their 12th straight win and 18th title in the men's kata section. Teikyo University also succeeded in winning the title for female kata for the 15th straight year.
The competition, which The Mainichi Newspapers Co. sponsored, was the first held at the Budokan located in the capital's Chiyoda Ward since it reopened this month.
(Japanese original by Akira Matsumoto, Sports News Department)