Croatia now has its third world karate champion.
After Junior Lefevre in 2000 (U-70kg) and Danil Domdjoni in 2008 (U-60kg), Ivan Kvesić has become the third karate world champion from Croatia after the 22-year-old won gold at the world championships in Madrid, Spain.
Kvesić won gold in the U-84kg category at the world champs after Ukraine’s Valerija Čobotara was ruled out of the final after being knocked out the day before in the team’s event, HRT reports.
On his way to the world title, Kvesić had a bye in the opening round before beating Romanian Christian Marian Michalache 4-0, Dionicio Gustavo from the Dominican Republic 8-1, Belarus Anton Isakau 4-3, Denmark’S Michel Corbalan 5-0, and Turkey’s Uğur Aktaş in the semi-final 2-1.
Kvesić, who fights out of the Hercegovina Zagreb club, won silver at the European Championships earlier this year.
He is expected to be a medal hope for Croatia at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo when the sport makes it debut.