The World Karate Federation (WKF) has expressed its deep sadness following the death of Executive Committee member Yrsa Ranki.
The Finland native passed away on Thursday (March 12) following a long illness.
She made a significant contribution to the development of karate in Finland and all over the world in her capacity as an Executive Committee member of the WKF and the European Karate Federation (EKF), and as second vice-president of the Finnish Karate Federation.
A karate black belt fifth Dan, Ranki had more than 40 years' experience in the sport.
She had won several Nordic and Finnish titles as a competitor in both kata and kumite, and had a successful career as a national kata coach from 1993 to 2006.
The Finnish Karate Federation vice-president since 2012, Ranki was elected as a member of the WKF Executive Committee in 2006.
Two years later, she was added to the EKF Executive Committee, thus contributing to the progress of the organisation with her vast knowledge of the sport and her affability.
"On behalf of the entire karate family, I wish to express our deepest condolences to Mrs Ranki’s family and loved ones," WKF and EKF President Antonio Espinós said.
"Mrs Ranki was an exceptional person.
"She was a beacon of optimism and her gracious and gentle personality always made her stand out.
"Her contribution to the EKF and WKF is unquestionable and we at the WKF and EKF will miss her dearly."
In its own statement, the WKF said the karate world joins in offering its deepest condolences to Ranki’s husband, Markku, her family and close friends.
"The WKF will miss the joy and generosity that she brought to all of those who had the pleasure of her company," the statement adds.