The men’s Croatia karate team of Ivan and Anđelo Kvesić, Enes Garibović, Zvonimir Živković, Ivan Martinac, Ante Mrvičić, and Karlo Raguž won the European championship title for the first time in history at the 56th European Karate Championship in Poreč, reports HRT.
In the final match, Croatia beat Montenegro 3-0. The first point was won by Anđelo Kvesić, beating Nenad Dulović 3-1.
Uncompromisingly, as in all team fights, Kvesić convincingly outplayed his opponent and won the starting point in the final.
Due to the injury of the Montenegro national team player Predrag Smolović, Zvonimir Živković scored the second point without a fight.
The third point was the work of Ivan Martinac, who in the end achieved a great turnaround against Mario Hodžić 3-2 for the overall triumph of the Croatia national team and a great celebration at the Poreč “Žatika” hall.
Croatia thus reached the jubilee 100th medal since Croatian independence at the senior European Championships and World Championships in karate, which places karate at the top of the most successful sports in Croatia.
“We are all overjoyed, we had high expectations, but gold is a dream come true. We will surely celebrate well. Montenegro was a surprise for the whole EP; the big countries won; we expected a harder road, but it turned out great. I am a little sad that I lost the bronze, but the Olympic Games are coming; I believe I can win gold,” said Ivan Kvesić.
“Deserved victory; we have a great team. This is a confirmation of past work, sacrifice, effort, and everything. We have top leadership by the Federation. I am proud to be a member of this golden team. This is a confirmation of work, quality, and motivation for the next competition. Angelo had a superb first match,” said Enes Garibović.
Ivan Martinac brought the decisive point.
“I had that honor; we’ve been dreaming about this our whole lives. We had an opportunity at home. We deserved it.”
Anđelo Kvesić is also delighted.
“We did the lion’s share of work. Individually, I may have failed, but now the team gold has come.”
Croatia won three medals
At the European Championship in Poreč, the Croatia team won three medals – gold – team (M), bronze – team (W) (Ana Lenard, Lucija Lesjak, Lea Vukoja, Mia Greta Zorko) and Enes Garibović -75kg.
The most successful was Turkey, the next host of the European Championship, with six gold medals (and a total of nine medals).
Danijela Topic won a bronze medal in para karate in the competition for people with intellectual disabilities.
During the EP week in Poreč, the election congress of the EKF (European Karate Federation) was held in the “Parentium” hotel, where for the first time in history, there were 47 presidents of national federations.
On that occasion, Davor Cipek, the president of the Croatian Karate Federation, was first elected to the Executive Board of the EKF. Then he became the general secretary of that sports organization.
A total of 596 competitors from 47 countries participated.
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