Croatia celebrates historical first judo medal for the deaf
- by croatiaweek
- in Sport
Josip Tonžetić, a 32-year-old Croatian representative, has made history by winning a bronze medal in the under 66 kilograms category at the European Judo Championship for the Deaf in Sofia, Bulgaria.
This is not only Tonžetić’s first European championship but also the first medal for Croatia in judo for the deaf.
Tonžetić’s victory came after losing to a Ukrainian opponent in the repechage but then defeating a Polish opponent to win the bronze medal. His coach, Hrvoje Petranović, expressed his pride in Tonžetić’s historic achievement, saying, “Josip won the 3rd place at the European Championship for the Deaf by defeating Kender Gustaw (POL), which is a historic result that makes it even sweeter and bigger.”
Tonžetić’s success is particularly remarkable given his visual and hearing impairments, which began during his puberty. Despite the challenges, he persevered and became a top judoka, with the bronze medal being the culmination of his hard work.
Tonžetić himself was overjoyed with his victory and the recognition of his dedication and hard work.
“This is my first European Championship for the Deaf and a new experience in which I won a great bronze medal. I am happy and satisfied! I feel that this medal is a reward for all my hard work and dedication through many difficult and grueling training sessions. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Croatian Sports Association for the Deaf, Judo Club Zagreb, coach Petranović, and former coach Zdravko Bajzek, who pushed me to this historic success,” said Josip Tonžetić.
Tonžetić’s victory is a testament to the power of perseverance and dedication in overcoming challenges, and it is sure to inspire others to pursue their dreams and passions regardless of any obstacles.