Karate athlete yelling

Daniel Gaysinsky set to make Canadian Olympic history at Tokyo 2020

MONTREAL (July 5, 2021) – On Monday, Karate Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee announced Daniel Gaysinsky as Canada’s lone karateka nominated to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, where the sport will make its Olympic debut.

Gaysinsky qualified for Tokyo 2020 based on his performance at the 2021 Olympic Qualification Tournament that took place from June 11 to 13 at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin in Paris, France. He secured the qualification tournament’s last ticket to Tokyo after completing nine matches at that event.

“It’s amazing to be qualified for the Games. It’s everything I have ever worked for in one moment. It’s unexplainable, but it’s a good feeling,” said Gaysinsky. “I went out in the first round and had to climb the ladder through five back-to-back fights and then the round-robin. It was a challenging comeback for me but I knew I was going to get it.”

“Daniel had a fantastic performance at the Olympic Qualification Tournament in Paris,” said Senior National Team Kumite Head Coach, Mrs. Nassim Varasteh. “He was consistent and methodical in his preparation for this event, despite all the challenges over the last year. The coaches have always been confident in Daniel’s potential and in his ability to perform under pressure. His performance in Paris was exceptional and he rightly earned his place among the top 10 men in the +75kg division at the Olympics.”

The 26-year-old from Vaughan, Ont. won gold at the 2017 Pan American Karate Championships and bronze at the same tournament in 2018. Most recently, he won the silver medal at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games and silver at the 2019 Karate1 Series A that was held in Montreal.

“It’s a great honour and privilege to have a Canadian athlete qualified for karate’s Olympic debut. This is a historic event for the competitive generations of the past and the millions of karate practitioners in the world. We are looking forward to showcasing our sport while focusing on our objective of having a podium performance in Tokyo,” added coach Varasteh.

Twenty-eight nations will be represented in the karate competition in Tokyo, which will feature both kumite and kata. Before the sport makes its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020, karate was included on the program at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games and has been on the Pan American Games program since 1995. Karate, which has its origins in what is now the Okinawa prefecture of Japan, will take place August 5 to 7 (Days 16 to 18) at the Nippon Budokan, which is considered the spiritual home of Japanese martial arts. 

“Congratulations to Daniel on his nomination! I’m really excited for the first Olympic karate tournament – the new sports are all so dynamic and exciting!” said Team Canada’s Tokyo 2020 Chef de Mission, Marnie McBean.

The athlete and coaches nominated are:

Daniel Gaysinsky (Vaughan, Ont.) – Kumite +75kg

Nassim Varasteh (Toronto, Ont.) – Senior National Team Kumite Head Coach
Roman Saltikov (Thornhill, Ont.) – Assistant National Team Coach / Training Partner

Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Organisations.

The latest Team Canada Tokyo 2020 roster can be found here and the qualification tracker can be found here.



Olivier Pineau, Executive Director
Karate Canada
C: 514-668-0386

Josh Su, Specialist, Public Relations
Canadian Olympic Committee
C: 647-464-4060

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