Updated: Oct 30
Antonio Espinós, who has governed international karate as president of the World Karate Federation since 1998, won re-election to the post at the WKF Congress in Turkey on Tuesday. Espinós, also president of the European Karate Federation, ran unopposed earning votes from 94 of the 99 countries eligible to participate in a secret ballot.
Under Espinós's leadership karate made it's Olympic debut last year in Tokyo. However, the sport was left off the roster of included events for the upcoming 2024 Paris Games and is uncertain of inclusion at the 2028 Los Angeles Games.
Karate has received criticism that it doesn't appeal to younger demographics and Espinós has attempted to counter thiswith studies touting the sport's popularity in the two upcoming Olympic host countries, France and the United States. However, he's so far failed to address concerns over the sparring competition being difficult for viewers to follow, which may ultimately keep karate out of future Olympics.