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Sunday, 12 January 2003  
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Inaugural Austasia Asian Karate C'ships on Jan. 23 and 24

The inaugural Asian Karate Championships conducted by the Sri Lanka Shotokan Karate-Do Association in association with Austasia Sports Private Limited will be held at the Austasia Sports Complex at Thalawatugoda on January 23 and 24. This is the first of what is hoped would be an annual event.

This event, as far as the world of karate is concerned will have approximately 150 participants from Asian countries, namely neighbours India, Nepal, Bangladesh and also Malaysia and Hongkong. Sri Lanka will have a team in every weight category as well as age group.

The rules of the tournament will be according to the World Karate Federation and all judges will be qualified judges and referees from accredited karate or federation martial arts associations and selected judges and referees will be appointed to the above tournament.

Entries from any martial arts federation or association will be entertained and entries close on January 15 at the Austasia Sports Centre, 290/U, Weerasekera Mawatha, Thalawatugoda.

The junior category carries no weight class and the age limits are from 8-10, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16, 17-18, 18-19 and 19-20.

The senior women's weight class will be in the following categories: Under 48kg, Under 53kg, Under 60kg, Over 60 (only Brown & Black Belters). For men, the following weight categories are to be contested: 45-50kg, under 55kg, under 60kg, U 65kg, U 70 kg, U 80kg, and over 80kg,(Only Brown & Black Belters).

All the winners from each weight class will compete for the Austasia Challenge Trophy.(This will be only for the senior men).

Winners will receive first prize of Rs 10,000 and second prize of Rs. 7,500.

In addition, the winner will receive a gold medal, and the first runner up a silver medal, and the third place a bronze medal.

There will also be a cash prize of Rs 2000 for the women's winner.

The Chief Guest will be S.B. Dissanayake, present Minister of Samurdhi and Livestock Development. It is envisaged that about 60 martial arts associations will participate in this prestigious competition, held in order to promote the sport of karate. (P.J)

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