World Champions Aghayev and Sanchez among karate athletes qualified for Tokyo 2020
The World Karate Federation has announced the first 40 athletes who have qualified for Tokyo 2020.
Japan are taking their host quota for a total of 8 athletes, while 32 places were allocated to the four highest-ranked athletes per gender in each of the Olympic categories.
The list of karateka punching their tickets for Tokyo includes five-time world kumite champion Rafael Aghayev of Azerbaijan, and reigning world kata champion Sandra Sanchez of Spain.
The full list of karate athletes qualified for Tokyo 2020:
Men - Mattia Busato of Italy, Antonio Diaz of Venezuela, Damian Quintero of Spain, Ali Sofuoglu of Turkey, Kiyuna Ryo of Japan.
Women - Viviana Bottaro of Italy, Sakura Kokomai of the United States, Mo Sheung Grace Lau of Hong Kong, Sandra Sanchez of Spain, Shimizu Kiyou of Japan.
-67kg - Darkhan Assadilov of Kazakhstan, Angelo Crescenzo of Italy, Steven Dacosta of France, Vinicius Figueira of Brazil, Sago Naoto of Japan.
-75kg - Rafael Aghayev of Azerbaijan, Bahman Asgari Ghoncheh of Iran, Luigi Busa of Italy, Stanislav Horuna of Ukraine, Nishimura Ken of Japan.
+75kg - Ugur Aktas of Turkey, Sajad Ganjzadeh of Iran, Jonathan Horne of Germany, Ivan Kvesic of Croatia, Araga Ryutaro of Japan.
-55kg - Sara Bahmanyar of Iran, Serap Ozcelik Arapoglu of Turkey, Anzhelika Terliuga of Ukraine and Tzu-Yun Wen of Chinese Taipei, Miyahara Miho of Japan.
-61kg - Merve Coban of Turkey, Giana Lotfy of Egypt, Jovana Prekovic of Serbia, Xiaoyan Yin of China, Someya Mayumi of Japan.
+61kg - Hamideh Abbasali of Iran, Meltem Hocaouglu of Turkey, Elena Quirici of Switzerland, Irina Zaretska of Azerbaijan, Uekusa Ayumi of Japan.
2018 Karate World Championships - Behind the scenes with kata medallists
2018 Karate World Championships - Behind the scenes with kata medallistsDamian Quintero and Sandra Sanchez explain what it's like to compete on the highest stage.
A total of 80 karateka will take part in Tokyo 2020 and the remaining spots will be awarded in the upcoming months.
At least 24 places will be allocated at the qualification tournament due to be held in Paris, France.
12 additional Olympic berths will be given by continental representation and up to four athletes will book their place through the Tripartite Commission invitation places, which are awarded to athletes who are nominated by their National Olympic Committee.