Zagreb, September 10th, 2018 - At the World Karate Championships in Madrid, Croatian representative Ivan Kvesić (Kumite category -84 kg) won a gold medal breaking thus the ten-year long waiting for a World Title in Croatia. On his way to the big triumph in the light-heavyweight category, Kvesić was free in the 1st round and after that he beat the Romanian Christian Marian Michalache with 4-0, Dionicio Gustavo from the Dominican Republic with 8-1, Belarusian Anton Isakau with 4-3, Denmark’s Michel Corbalan with 5-0, while in the semifinals he was better than the European and World Champion Turk Ugur Aktas, who – being defeated by Ivan with 2-1, had to settle with bronze.
The 22-year-old member of the karate club KK Hercegovina from Zagreb on the World Champion title without much trouble, since the Ukraine's Valeriy Čobotar was not able to complete the individual final match because in the team competition that took place a day before he was injured by the blows received.
Since the Ukrainian did not appear on the tatami for the final match, the judges’ only duty was to declare Kvesić the winner. This is yet the third world gold in the history of the Croatian karate - before Ivan Kvesić, Junior Lefevre triumphed in 2000 in Munich and Danil Domdjoni eight years later in Tokyo.
Of the total of 24 Croatian male and female representatives that performed at the World Championships in Madrid, Jelana Pehar fought for bronze medal in the Kumite category -50 kg. A fairly balanced match finished with the victory of Austrian Bettina Plank (with Jelena being disqualified two seconds before the end), but Jelena also deserves all the praises for keeping her fighting spirit.
The President of the Croatian Olympic Committee (COO) Zlatko Mateša and Josip Čop, currently attending the session of the European Olympic Committees’ (EOC) Assembly in Spanish Marbella, sent the congratulatory note to the World Champion Ivan Kvesić:
with a brilliant performance in the world's biggest competition you brought the Croatian Karate to the highest stair of the winning pedestal. In the name of the Croatian sports family, we congratulate you on winning the world gold and - since karate is on the program of Tokyo Olympics 2020, we wish you to achieve the Olympic ambitions as well. (COC/VK)