Antonio Espìnós, the WKF President, is eagerly anticipating the launch of the new edition of their flagship Karate 1-Premier League ©Getty Images

The new edition of the flagship 2018 Karate1 Premier League has been launched by World Karate Federation (WKF) representatives and delegates from all seven host cities in Tenerife, Spain.

Chaired by WKF President Antonio Espìnós, the meeting coincided with the hosting of the World Cadet, Junior and Under-21 Championships, also held in Tenerife. 

In addition to representatives of Karate’s international governing body, members of the Organising Committees of all the 2018 Karate1-Premier League tournaments were in attendance. 

Next year’s edition of karate's first-class series of competitions will have seven tournaments. 

The cities of Paris, France; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Rabat, Morocco; Istanbul, Turkey; Berlin, Germany and Tokyo, Japan will all host events.

The Premier League is karate's flagship series ©WKF
The Premier League is karate's flagship series ©WKF

The Karate1-Premier League is the most important league event in the world of karate. 

It comprises of a number of the most prominent karate competitions and aims to bring together the best karate athletes in the world in an open championships of unprecedented scale and quality.

"Initiated in 2011 with two tournaments held in Paris and Istanbul, the Karate1-Premier League has made huge progress in terms of magnitude and status as well as the number of participants and countries represented," said Espinós.

"It is our intention to continue working together to move karate and the Karate1-Premier League in the right direction. 

"The tremendous progress that the Karate1-Premier League has experienced over the years is the result of the joint cooperation of the WKF, national federations and Organising Committees. 

"The meeting was an important step forward in our desire to work closely with all parties involved in order to achieve our goal of continuing reaching new milestones for our sport." 

A new image of the top karate tournaments was presented at the meeting, as well as the upgraded design of competition. 

Other improvements were discussed to further increase the presentation of the tournaments and to continue taking the event to new levels in terms of organisation, delivery of the competition, and TV coverage. 

Representatives of all the seven host cities pledged to contribute to further raising the profile of karate’s flagship event, as the Karate 1-Premier League is acquiring greater levels of importance, especially in the quest for qualification to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.