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GAINESVILLE – The Sunshine State Games hosted the 2019 Katsu Challenge on Sunday, March 3 at the Exactech Arena in Gainesville, attracting 97 competitors that came as far as Kentucky, Georgia, and South Carolina. The Challenge, which served as a National Qualifier for the USA Karate National Championships that will be held in July in Chicago, Ill., crowned 42 champions in two disciplines: Kata and Kumite.

In its first year partnering with the Sunshine State Games, the Katsu Challenge worked in coordination with the Gainesville Sports Commission and Katsu Dojo to host the event. Prior to this year’s partnership with the Sunshine State Games, the Katsu Challenge had taken place annually at the Exactech Arena since 2007.

“This event was a huge success,” said Sensei Jason Sorgi, the SSG state director for Katsu Challenge. “It far surpassed our expectations.  The University of Florida was a great host for our venue and all the staff and competitors enjoyed their experience.  The competition was action-packed.  We look forward to next year’s event and wish everyone success and luck at the National Championships in July.”

Of the 19 Kata divisions and 23 Kumite divisions contested, six individuals doubled as champions in their respective classes.  Among those two-time champions were Mark Duarte, of Cape Coral; Gustavo Quinones, of Orlando; Fernando Chirinos, of Orlando; Lucas Ross, of Spring Hill; Trey Regar, of Lake City; and Alison Post, of Gaston.

Complete results from this year’s Challenge can be accessed by clicking here.

The Sunshine State Games are presented annually by the Florida Sports Foundation (FSF), the state’s lead sports promotion and development organization, and a division of Enterprise Florida, Inc.  The FSF works in conjunction with a variety of local sports industry partners to present the different competitions.  The Sunshine State Games, an annual amateur sports tradition in Florida, is part of the state’s $57.4 billion sports industry that accounts for 580,000 jobs statewide.

To access a complete calendar of events for the 2019 Sunshine State Games, click here.

Please note that all event dates, times, and locations are subject to change.