The World Karate Federation has updated its standings that will determine qualification for the sport’s Olympic Games debut at Tokyo 2020 ©WKF

The World Karate Federation has updated its standings that will determine qualification for the sport’s Olympic Games debut at Tokyo 2020.

The top four karateka in each category, together with one from the host country Japan, will qualify for next year's Olympics.

Japan’s Ryo Kiyuna and Spain’s Damián Quintero are the clear leaders in the men’s kata standings, with point totals of 8,250 and 7,177.5 respectively.

Turkey’s Ali Sofuoğlu is third with 4,567.5 points.

Due to the presence of Japanese athletes in top positions - including Kiyuna, fourth-placed Kazumasa Moto and fifth-placed Issei Shimbaba - the rest of the qualifying places currently go to sixth-placed Antonio Díaz of Venezuela and seventh-placed Mattia Busato of Italy.

Less than 700 points separate the top three positions in the men's kumite under-67 kilograms standings. 

Kazakhstan's Darkhan Assadilov remains in first place with 7,042.5 points, while Italy's Angelo Crescenzo is second with 6,645 and France's Steven Da Costa is third with 6,390.

The last of the qualifying spots currently belongs to Egypt's Ali Elsawy.

Iran’s Bahman Asgari Ghoncheh is leading the fiercely-contested men's kumite under-75kg category with 6,187.5 points.

He has a lead of 465 points over Ken Nishimura, who holds the Japanese quota in the category. 

Azerbaijan's Rafael Aghayev, Italy's Luigi Busa and Ukraine's Stanislav Horuna occupy the rest of the qualifying places.

Turkey's Uğur Aktaş is the leader of the men's kumite over-75kg standings with 7,417.5 points, which is 765 more than nearest challenger Sajad Ganjzadeh of Iran.

The other qualifying positions are held by Germany's Jonathan Horne, Croatia's Ivan Kvesić and Japan's Ryutaro Araga.

Japan's Ryo Kiyuna leads the men's kata standings ©WKF
Japan's Ryo Kiyuna leads the men's kata standings ©WKF

After dominating all the major events of the season so far, Spain's Sandra Sánchez and Japan's Kiyou Shimizu have acquired a considerable lead in the women's kata standings. 

The category is topped by reigning world champion Sánchez with 8,842.5 points, which is 960 more than former world champion Shimizu has amassed.

Italy's Viviana Bottaro is third with 5,760 points, while Hong Kong's Mo Sheung Grace Lau and the United States' Sakura Kokumai complete the qualifying positions. 

Turkey's Serap Özçelik continues to lead the women's kumite under-55kg standings, with 7,657.5 points.

Ukraine's Anzhelika Terliuga is 570 points behind in second place.

Chinese Taipei's Wen Tzu-Yun and Japan's Miho Miyahara sit in third and fourth spot, respectively, while Iran's Sara Bahmanyar also appears among the selected karateka, for the first time, following the new update.

China's Yin Xiaoyan is the leader of the women's kumite under-61kg category with 6,960 points, followed by Egypt's Giana Lotfy with 6,315. 

World champion Jovana Preković of Serbia and Turkey's Merve Çoban round off the list of athletes in qualifying positions. 

The host country quota goes, for the moment, to Mayumi Someya.

In the women's kumite over-61kg, the qualifying positions go down to seventh place due to the merging of categories. 

Azerbaijan's Irina Zaretska is the leader with 5,782.5 points and is followed by Ayumi Uekusa, who is the first-placed Japanese representative, with 5,220. 

Switzerland's Elena Quirici, Greece's Eleni Chatziliadou and Iran's Hamideh Abbasali complete the list of momentarily qualified athletes. 

The full Olympic standings can be viewed by clicking here, with the final update of the year due to be carried out at the beginning of December.