Karate's Ayumi Uekusa (Japan) is a double champion of The World Games. This year she became the Asian Games champion, won a coveted Triple Crown in the Karate 1 Premier League (victories in the legs in Rotterdam, Istanbul and Berlin) and has just been announced as the Grand Winner in her weight category, repeating her achievement of 2017. She is our Athlete of October 2018!
Ayumi Uekusa is the reigning World Champion and the 26-year-old will try to defend her title in Madrid, Spain next month. But what makes her extraordinary is her amazing success on the World Ranking. She currently has 7,105 points, which is almost double that of her nearest competitor Titta Keinanen, who has 4,042.50 points. That is an incredible gap between the first and second ranked karateka, especially when the gaps between the other athletes are around 20 points!
Uekusa is also a strong favourite to take gold at the Karate competition in the Tokyo Olympic Games when the Games return to her home country in 2020.
Trained at the hard Japanese school, in the pure tradition of Japan, Ayumi Uekusa does not hesitate to be inventive to progress in her Karate, to challenge codes. For example, she trains once a month with a former Taekwondo champion, to perfect her kicks which, according to her, represented her weak point!