Grace Lau became the first athlete from Hong Kong to claim the world’s No. 1 female kata practitioner, when the latest World Karate Federation rankings were revealed on Wednesday. The achievement also makes Grace the first-ever martial artist from the SAR to make it to the top of the international rankings.

Lau opened 2024 with 7,125 points in the Female Kata category, 60 points ahead of Japan’s Hikaru Ono, who holds the World’s No. 2 ranking in the sport. In a Facebook post, Lau thanked her team, family, and friends for all their support and said that this career-defining achievement will motivate her to push boundaries.

grace lau asian karate championships gold medal
Grace Lau with her first gold medal at the Asian Karate Championships in July 2023

The past year was a big one for Lau, who won her first gold medal at the Asian Karate Championships in Malacca in July 2023, as well as her first silver at the World Championships in Budapest in October. She also represented Hong Kong at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, where she won a bronze in the women’s kata event, making her the first Hong Kong athlete to take home an Olympic gold in karate.

See also
Hong Kong's 6 Tokyo Olympic Medals: What Do They Mean To Hongkongers?

Image credits: Grace Lau via Facebook

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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