Following his excellent results at the Australian Karate Federation’s 2023 national championships and a final qualifying play-off, Yonatan Freund was last week named in Australia’s squad for the 2023 senior world championships in Budapest from October 24-29.
While the 21-year-old has previously represented his country at major junior, cadet and U21 karate tournaments overseas, including last year’s World University Games, this will be his senior worlds debut.
“This will be the pinnacle, so I’m getting pretty excited about it,” Freund told The AJN on Monday.
“I’ll be really knuckling down at training.
“I feel lucky to have good people to help me prepare, including my training partner Richard Basckin and I can draw on some experience versus fighters in high level overseas tournaments.”
Earlier this year, Freund and Basckin – who has represented Australia many times – established their own Miyagi Kan Karate dojo in Sydney’s east.
At the recent nationals, Basckin won bronze in the men’s kumite under-60kg competition, while Freund won silver in the under-84kg division and bronze in the men’s open category.
To earn an individual spot for the senior worlds, Freund was required to win a best-of-three series against the next highest ranked under-84kg fighter, Victorian Max Noble.
He did so, by winning the first two bouts 4-0 and 7-0.
“While not winning gold at this year’s nationals was a bit upsetting, winning that play-off immediately after to make the Australian team was really special,” Freund said.