The Karate 1-Premier League in Rabat will begin tomorrow ©WKF

Nearly 300 athletes are expected to compete in Rabat as the Moroccan city hosts the third Karate 1-Premier League event of the season.

The World Karate Federation (WKF) said athletes from 48 countries have registered for the event.

Rabat is hosting a Karate 1-Premier League event for the fifth time.

Competition will begin tomorrow at the multi-purpose Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium.

Medals have been spread across the first two events of the season, with Kiyou Shimizu the only athlete to have won gold at the first stops in Fujairah and Matosinhos.

Shimizu will not seek a hat-trick of victories with the Japanese star absent from Rabat.

Saudi Arabia’s Olympic silver medallist Tareq Hamedi will be among the athletes competing in the men’s kumite events.

Olympian Abdallah Abdelaziz and world champion Youssef Badawy feature in Egypt’s delegation for the event.

Jordan’s Abdel Rahman Almasatfa, Hungary’s Karoly Gabor Harspartaki, Japan’s Ken Nishimura, and Croatia’s Ivan Kvesic have been tipped as athletes to watch in the men’s kumite events.

Italy’s Silvia Semeraro and Azerbaijan’s Irina Zaretska could continue their rivalry in the women’s under-68kg kumite event.

Rabat will be hosting a Karate 1-Premier League event for the fifth time ©WKF
Rabat will be hosting a Karate 1-Premier League event for the fifth time ©WKF

Semeraro and Zaretska have met in the final at the opening two events, emerging with one victory apiece.

Olympic gold medallist Feryal Abdelaziz of Egypt will also be competing in women’s kumite competition, while Ukraine’s Anzhelika Terliuga and Anita Serogina are seeking to reach their third consecutive finals.

United States’ Ariel Torres and Sakura Kokumai are due to compete in the men’s and women’s kata events respectively.

World Championships runner-up Hikaru Ono of Japan is also set to feature in kata competition.

The WKF said Italy have the largest delegation at the event with 25 athletes set to represent the nation.

Egypt and Spain are due to have 23 and 19 karatekas respectively in Rabat.