Zagreb, May 8, 2021 - Taekwondoka Ivan Šapina created a sensation at the European Olympic qualification tournament in the Bulgarian capital Sofia. The member of Split’s club TK Marjan reached the finals of the category +80kg, which was enough to become our 42nd evident Olympic candidate for Tokyo, the fourth taekwondo representative besides Kristina Tomić -49kg, Matea Jelić -67kg and Toni Kanaet -80kg) and third representative from the abovementioned trophy-winning Split club at this summer’s Olympics.

Šapina reached the finals of his category literally in the final moments of the decisive (semi-final) match at Sofia qualification tournament. In the first round, he beat Ukraine's Vladyslav Bondar with a 24-3 break, only to literally hit Turkey's Emre Kutalm Atesli in the semifinal match in the very the last second for a big celebration. Since the finalists in all categories secured their appearance at the Tokyo Olympics, the final fight was not held.

The Croatian Olympic Committee (COC) congratulates Ivan Šapina on winning the Olympic standard for Tokyo, as well as the Croatian Taekwondo Federation (HTS) on the record four "visas" for the same Olympics so far!