Three New Zealand karate athletes are preparing for their biggest test yet as they work towards Olympic qualification.
Andrea Anacan, Holly Wigg and Isaac Hoshi are gearing up to compete in karate at the World Beach Games in Doha.
Karate is one of 14 sports being contested at the Beach Games which will run October 12-17.
Karate is making its Olympic debut in 2020 and Anacan says Beach Games will be the perfect test event.
“The judges will likely be the ones they use at Tokyo 2020 and the way its run will be similar to how they’ll run the Olympics so it’s kind of like a trial run.
“All the athletes competing are also continental champions which means we’re up against the best of the best.”
Anacan is aiming to medal at the Beach Games but says the main objective is to get some good mat time and see how her routine stacks up against the world’s best.
“It’s nerve wracking but exciting, the world champ is there. No matter what pool you’re in it’s going to be tough.
“We’ve all just come from a really good build up competition in Chile and I’ll be peaking for Beach Games so it is a really important competition for me.”
Temperatures in Doha are around 40-degrees but the New Zealanders are confident they’ll be able to handle the heat.
“We’ve got heat strategies in place and we’ll be training at the beach before we compete to get used to the conditions,” said Anacan.
The karate athletes begin competition on October 12th.
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games