Congratulations to Hikaru Ono from Japan, IWGA Athlete of the Month for October 2023. The 31-year-old karateka won a gold medal at the World Championships last weekend in Budapest, Hungary. She wears the crown of Female Kata. The runner-up in 2022 defeated Mo Sheung Grace Lau of Hong Kong with scores of 44.8 to 43.8, thus bringing the world title back to Japan after seven years of absence.
In 2021 at the World Championships, the Japanese karateka lost the final to Sandra Sanchez. At The World Games 2022 in Birmingham, USA, Hikaru Ono won another silver medal, again beaten by Sandra Sanchez. This time the Spaniard sat on the tribune and watched how her successor was crowned, in what was a thrilling final.
In Budapest, Hikaru Ono also competed as a two-time continental champion. The title win concluded a successful year for the Japanese athlete, who is from Oita, Kyushu. In September, she was honoured in Dublin for the season's ‘Grand’ title in Female Kata. She now wears the special karategi with golden embroidery on the shoulder. An earlier highlight was winning the Karate1 Premier League competition in Fukuoka, Japan in June. Her parents watched her defeat Mo Sheung Grace Lau in the final there, as she did in Budapest.
Kata is karate discipline, where athletes perform stylised fights conducted against imaginary opponents. Kata is a discipline on the programme of The World Games. In Chengdu, China in 2025, there will be a new opportunity for Hikaru Ono to become The World Games champion.
As The World Games Athlete of the Month, Hikaru Ono will receive a diploma and a branded gift.
The World Games is a multi-sport event staged every four years by the International World Games Association, organised with the support of the International Olympic Committee. The World Games 2022 was held in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, 7-17 July 2022. 3,600 athletes from 34 sports and 100 countries took part in the Games. The 12th edition of The World Games will be held in Chengdu, CHN, 7-17 August 2025.