Anđelo Kvesić and Lucija Lesjak Win Karate World Bronze Medals in Dubai!

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:

Sasa Miljevic / PIXSELL
Sasa Miljevic / PIXSELL

On the penultimate day of the championship, Lucija Lesjak was more experienced, concentrated, and in the end, better than the Czech Martina Sachova (3-2). She carried a steady advantage, either through senshu or a minimal point advantage. Lucija finally celebrated her first individual senior medal in major competitions. She was a member of the bronze team at the European Championships in Poreč, and in recent years she has won the world champion title in the competition of younger seniors, reports HRT.

The medal arrived after two defeats yesterday in the last moments of the team performance against France and Colombia. In the individual (+68 kg), Lesjak eliminated Austrian Laura Ziller on Tuesday. The fight ended 2-2, but Lucija won the first point. After that, she continued with victories against the Canadian Yashne Hathi 8-0, Sweden’s Lisa Rasmusson 6-1, and American Circus Lingl 2-0. In the semifinals, she lost minimally to Egyptian Menna Shabaah Okila 2-1, which is why she fought for the bronze medal.

“At this moment, yes, the greatest achievement in my career. My second big senior competition, the first was in Poreč; now it’s the world. But, I believe in a lot more,” said Lucija Lesjak, happy with the medal.

After Linz in 2016, Anđelo Kvesić won his second individual medal at the World Championships, which Junior Lefevre has only succeeded in the history of Croatian karate in individual men’s performances. Recall, Junior was world champion in Munich in 2000 under the Croatian flag, and silver in Madrid two years later in the category up to 70 kg.

In the girls’ category, Jelena Kovačević has two medals from the World Championships – bronze in Belgrade in 2010 and silver in Paris two years later (-55 kg). In addition, the women’s team also won two team medals (bronze Belgrade 2010, silver Paris 2012), both times in the same composition – (Ana Marija Čelan, Azra Saleš, Ivona Tubić, and Maša Martinović).

In today’s fight for bronze in the +84 kg category, Anđelo Kvesić excelled, not allowing his opponent to get closer in terms of results or competition. He eventually celebrated against Spaniard Babacar Sackho Sek 5-0 and won his second individual world bronze.

“The real champions are those who win continuously, who do not shine only once but constantly make great results over the years. I am sure that I will not stop at this. The goal is to become a world and European champion,” said Anđelo Kvesić.

On Tuesday, the first day of the World Championship, Anđelo achieved four victories – against Juhnyeok Kim from North Korea 4-0, Rob Timmermans from Curacao 3-0, and defeated the Dutchman Tyron-Darnell Lardy with the same result. The deciding factor was the quarterfinals triumph over Greek Georgios Tzanos 2-1, achieved in the last second of that fight. Georgian Gogita Arkania was more successful in the semifinal (3-1).

His brother Ivan lost the match for the bronze medal in the light heavyweight category (-84 kg), losing to Frenchman Jessie da Costa 4-2. It was an uncertain fight in which the final went to the French competitor. Ivan, the winner of seven medals from significant competitions, lost all three bronze matches this year due to a combination of circumstances – at the European Championships, Olympic Games, and World Championships. He will have shoulder surgery next week.

“The shadow of my performance, the circumstances are different now than three years ago. Then, I went a long way, and it was like it was all in the preparation phase. I am now going to get away from it all, rehabilitate and prepare for the next season,” said the 2018 world champion.

The World Championship in the United Arab Emirates ends tomorrow, with 983 competitors from 105 countries.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page


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