Damien Quintero is already in the final of the Karate World Cups and on Saturday, at 18.07, he will fight for the gold against the Japanese Ryo Kiyuna, the current world champion, who defeated the Spanish in 2016. Quintero beat the Mexican Waldo Ramírez, the Turk and European Champion Ali Sofuoglu, the Colombian David Contreras and the Frenchman Enzo Montarello in the qualifiers this Tuesday at the WiZink Center. In the semifinal he got rid of the Venezuelan Antonio Díaz and qualified directly for the final. He won all 5-0. In the stands were, as always, their parents, who never miss a European and world competition for their son. "Good, good," said coach Jesús del Moral, patting him on the back and legs in one of the brief breaks between one round and another.
Barefoot, in a corner of the pavilion, next to the bar and the wardrobe, Quintero was rehearsing the katas before going out to the tatami. There was no one to divert his gaze of maximum concentration. After the semifinal, he relaxed the gesture and greeted the crowd. "It was very hard but everything went as I expected," said the Spaniard, who was silver at the 2016 Linz World Cup. This is the last World Cup before the Tokyo 2020 Games and the one that scores the most for the Olympic ranking. . There will be cited the 12 best; Here more than 80 karatecas have competed.
On Saturday, Quintero will return to face Ryo Kiyuna. "It's going to be spectacular. You have to give Show. Ryo will come to revalidate the title, I will try to take it away, "said Quintero, who these days has isolated himself from the world listening to the advice of Pablo del Río, the CAR psychologist, who told him, among other things, to forget about social networks and of the mobile. "I already have the kata I'm going to do in the final. I will leave centered and without deviating from my script. These three days I will try to relax a bit but I will continue to isolate myself from the world, "he added. Special feeling? "We are used to face in the Premier League as well [el circuito mundial de kárate]. It's a special final because it's against the current world champion. He is a strong, powerful competitor, but maybe where he goes down is in the technique. Maybe my special point is to offer more technique to the judges, "he answered, also asked about the keys of the final.
The appointment this morning in the WiZink Center was at 10 o'clock. At 9.15 there was already a tremendous queue at the access doors for the athletes. "I've been late for that, for the huge tail. What a mess. More or less I need to start the activation one hour before the competition. I need a strong activation, to give me cane for an hour to be in the optimal condition, "Quintero said in the bowels of the pavilion while Sandra Sánchez He started his way in the competition. "We have repeated and repeated and repeated the katas so as not to cool down that in the corridors it is very cold," the Spaniard added.