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13-Year-Old Karate Prodigy Too Young To Compete In Olympics, Vows To Keep Fighting

When competitors face off in karate at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Mahiro Takano, one of the host country’s brightest karate stars will not be participating. That’s because Takano is only 13 years old and won’t be old enough to take part.

Takano has been gaining attention for years for her karate skills and performances and told AFP that she was sad not to be participating in the showpiece event in her home country, saying:

“It has been my dream to win an Olympic gold medal since I was small. It’s sad that the Olympics are coming to Tokyo and I can’t take part because of my age.”

Takano has no qualms fighting boys and even grown men, telling AFP, whose reporter observed her sparring with a 43 year old male opponent, that it makes no difference to her, saying:

“It doesn’t matter how big they are. I just give it everything I have.”

In addition to fighting opponents, Takano is also a skilled and passionate practitioner of “kata” a solo form of karate in which athletes perform a complex series of moves.

Takano told AFP that while she’s disappointed at not being eligible to compete at the 2020 Tokyo games she is looking forward to fighting in future Olympic games, saying:

“It gives me incentive to compete at future Olympics when I’m bigger. I’ll watch the Tokyo Olympics and learn from the world’s best to be ready when my time comes.”

Further putting adults everywhere to shame, in addition to her martial arts accomplishments, Takano has also appeared in a music video by Sia. Truly her future seems as bright as her present.

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