Eight Para karate categories form part of the Karate World Championships in Budapest ©WKF

World Karate Federation (WKF) President Antonio Espinós has said he is resistant to creating a separate Para Karate World Championships despite a big increase in participation.

More than 100 athletes are competing in Budapest with competition held alongside able-bodied events as part of the Karate World Championships.

It is a record number of participants with the amount of categories expanding to eight, including four intellectually impaired events.

The World Championships features women’s and men’s competitions in blind and visually impaired K10, intellectually impaired K21, intellectually impaired K22 and wheelchair user K30.

Espinós said that Para karate was taking a "new dimension" due to the rise in competitors.

"It’s good news," Espinós told insidethegames.

"At this year’s Championships, we have more than 120 athletes coming here for Para sport.

"When you compare it with what we had four or five years ago it is double or three times more.

"This year we have had Continental Championships in Asia, America, Europe and Africa.

"This is going up and up.

"We were forced to increase the number of categories.

The WKF has opted to double the amount of intellectually impaired categories due to the increase in participation ©WKF
The WKF has opted to double the amount of intellectually impaired categories due to the increase in participation ©WKF

"We had three categories - wheelchair, blind or visually impaired and intellectually impaired.

"With the intellectually impaired, we found that there were too many differences between the athletes in this category.

"I had to accept the proposal of the Para-Karate Committee to double the intellectually impaired and now we have two."

Espinós said he would be willing to provide more days of competition for Para karate should participation continue to grow.

"It is presenting new problems," said Espinós.

"What we would not like is to make a special Para Karate Championships.

"We want to have Para karate athletes competing together with the able bodied athletes.

"This is very important to me not to make the discrimination which means to separate them with a special event.

"This doesn’t sit well for me.

"Maybe in three or four years, we will have to say instead of three days, they can have four days.

"We will see how we manage it in the future.

"They come with such energy, and they are thrilled to be here.

"It is amazing to see them."