The Malta Independent 5 June 2023, Monday
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Maltese athletes place in the top 10 of online Shotokan karate world championship

Bettina Borg Tuesday, 9 March 2021, 15:23 Last update: about 3 years ago

Three Maltese athletes have placed in the top 10 in the first ever online Shotokan karate world championship.

The athletes competed in the Funakoshi Gichin Online Festival, a festival which replaced the Japenese Karate Association World Championships in Tokyo due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The festival consisted of over 1000 athletes from around the world, competing against each other according to age. Men and women were compounded together in the same categories.


The participants were required to send in videos of them performing a standard Shotokan routine to the JKA Headquarters in Japan. The judges then had four months to assess the videos and rank the participants.

Whereas the judges typically watch the routine within the matter of a few seconds in a physical championship, the online championship was judged by both judges and referees watching the submitted videos in slow motion to scrutinize any flaws in the routines.

Representing Malta, Liane and Nicole Chircop – deemed ‘The Karate Sisters’ – and Shayma En Najar all ranked in the top 10 of their respective categories.

19 year old Liane Chircop came in fourth place in the 19-21 year category. Her performance can be viewed below:

Her sister, 23 year old Nicole Chircop came in eighth place in the 22-39 year category. She also ranked second amongst the women in the same category. Her performance can be viewed below:

Lastly, 11 year old En Najar came in ninth place in the 10-12 year category. Her performance can be viewed below:

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