Barbara Matić Takes Gold in First All-Croatian Judo World Cup Final!

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:

Zeljko Hladika/PIXSELL
Zeljko Hladika/PIXSELL

After beating their Japanese opponents in the semi-final, the current world champion Barbara Matić and her fellow countrywoman Lara Cvjetko fought each other for the gold medal at the Judo World Cup in the category up to 70 kilograms. After a minute and a half, the 27-year-old Matić defended the world champion title against Cvjetko. 

There wasn’t too much pressure for Croatia fans, as no matter the outcome, a Croatian judoka would take the gold at the biggest judo event this year in Tashkent (Uzbekistan). Croatia absolutely dominated the women’s category up to 70 kg, and today we watched the first all-Croatian final in the history of judo.

The match took place at 2 pm Croatia time between the current world champion and top-ranked Barbara Matić and 21-year-old Lara Cvjetko.

The category up to 70 kg, with 44 competitors, was also the busiest in the judoka competition at this year’s World Championship. After both Croatian participants were free in the first round, they had four fights each on the way to the final. Matić defeated Hilde Jager (NED), Aleksandra Samardžić (BiH), Gulnoza Matniyazov (UZB), and Shiho Tanaka (JPN). At the same time, Lara Cvjetko was better than Margaux Pinot (FRA), Martina Esposito (ITA), Sanne Van Dijke (NED), and Saki Niizoe (JPN).

How demanding this weight category is, is shown by the fact that the Olympic silver medal winner in Tokyo Polleres (AUT), the bronze medalist Van Dijke (NED), and 2019 World Cup gold medalist Gahie (FRA), and bronze medalist Pinot (FRA) lost in the elimination fights.

Source: HRT

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