Olympic gold medallist Sajjad Ganjzadeh of Iran, left, and silver medallist Tareq Hamedi of Saudi Arabia, right, are among the stars set to feature at the AKF Senior Championships ©Getty Images

Olympic gold medallist Sajjad Ganjzadeh is among the stars set to participate at the Asian Karate Federation (AKF) Senior Championships in Malacca from tomorrow.

The second edition of the Asian Para-Karate Championships has also been incorporated into the event at the Melaka International Trade Centre Ayer Keroh Sports Hall, with competition in seven categories scheduled for Saturday (July 22).

Iranian Ganjzadeh has entered the men's over-84 kilograms kumite category, one of 17 events featuring as part of the AKF Senior Championships.

There are six individual men's and five women's kumite events scheduled for tomorrow and Saturday, with the team kumite competitions set to be held on Sunday (July 23).

Men's and women's individual and team kata events are also due to take place tomorrow and on Saturday.

Nearly 400 athletes from 31 countries have entered the Championships, with Iran boasting the largest team of 26.

Other leading names set to feature include Japan's women's kata Olympic silver medallist Kiyou Shimizu and Tokyo 2020 runner-up in the men's over-75kg kumite Tareq Hamedi of Saudi Arabia, who has entered at over-84kg.

Four Olympic bronze medallists are also on the entry list in Hong Kong's Grace Lau, Kazakhstan's Sofya Berultseva, China's Gong Li and Jordan's Abdelrahman Al-Masatfa.

Japan topped the medals table at last year's Championships in Uzbekistan's capital Tashkent with eight golds.

This year's AKF Senior Championships serves as the final major event before the delayed Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games from September 23 to October 8.

In the build-up to the Championships, World Karate Federation President Antonio Espinós lauded the sport's development in Asia.

"Our Continental Federations have experienced outstanding progress over the years and their development can truly be attested by the growing organisational level of the Continental Championships, one of the most anticipated events in our calendar," the Spanish official said.

"The fantastic success of our Continental Championships is especially remarkable in Asia.

"The karate world will be setting their eyes in Malacca from July 21 to 23 where the 2023 AKF Senior and Para-Karate Championships will take place, and where the new Asian heroes of our sport will be crowned."