Home favourite Gábor Hárspataki, left, suffered a gut-wrenching defeat to Egypt’s Abdalla Abdelaziz in the men's under-75kg final ©WKF

Egypt’s Abdalla Abdelaziz broke Hungarian hearts with a dramatic victory over home favourite Gábor Hárspataki on a pulsating day of competition at the Karate World Championships here.

Hárspataki, the Olympic bronze medallist, is the poster boy for the event but hopes of a home title were dashed in a thrilling finale to the men’s under-75 kilogram gold-medal match at the Papp László Budapest Sports Arena.

Abdelaziz led 3-1 before Hárspataki launched a comeback with 21 seconds remaining, scoring a yuko to get within one point.

With one last throw of the dice, Hárspataki brought Abdelaziz down resulting in an ippon for the victory.

However, his delight turned to dismay as officials scrubbed off the score after finding that Hárspataki’s attack came after the time had ended.

Hungary launched an appeal which forced the medal ceremony to be delayed but it proved unsuccessful.

Once the medals were finally handed out, Ukraine’s Andrii Zaplitnyi and Russian Ernest Sharafutdinov stood on the podium together after receiving their bronzes.

Sharafutdinov is one of 12 athletes from Russia competing as neutrals in Budapest after the World Karate Federation lifted its outright ban on Russian and Belarusian participation in time for the event.

Ukraine’s Andrii Zaplitnyi appeared to turn away from Russian Ernest Sharafutdinov on the podium ©ITG
Ukraine’s Andrii Zaplitnyi appeared to turn away from Russian Ernest Sharafutdinov on the podium ©ITG

WKF officials say the move is in line with the International Olympic Committee which ruled that athletes from Russia and Belarus should be allowed to participate under a neutral banner provided they do not support the war in Ukraine and are not affiliated.

But the decision has angered the Ukrainian Karate Federation which has alleged that Sharafutdinov has links to the military.

Zaplitnyi refused to applaud Sharafutdinov when he collected his medal and appeared to turn away from him after joining him on the podium.

The Ukrainian also did not shake his hand when all the athletes came together at the top of the podium for a picture with their medals.

Today also saw Ukraine’s Valerii Chobotar defeat another Russian in Eduard Gasparian to win men’s under-84kg bronze.

A total of 12 gold medals were awarded with Egypt, Turkey, France and Japan all winning two each while there was also success for Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, China and Greece.

Egypt also picked up one silver and three bronzes to climb to the top of the medal table.

Youssef Badawy secured Egypt’s other gold when he retained the men’s under-84kg title with a comprehensive 9-2 victory over Mehdi Khodabakhshi of Iran.

France’s Olympic champion Steven Da Costa survived a scare to claim a third successive world men’s under-67kg crown.

Nenad Dulovic of Montenegro looked to have snatched the title away from Da Costa at the death when he brought down the Frenchman.

However, further checks found that the score had come after the time was over as Da Costa sealed the title to add to the ones he won in 2018 and 2021.

Mehdi Filali also delivered gold for France when he clinched a 3-1 win over Taha Mahmoud of Egypt in the men’s over-84kg final.

Bulgaria’s Olympic champion Ivet Goranova was on the end of a crushing 8-1 defeat by Turkey’s Tuba Yakan who stormed to the women’s under-55kg title.

Like Da Costa, Azerbaijan’s Irina Zaretska also completed a hat-trick of golds as she edged Switzerland’s Elena Quirici 5-4 in the women’s under-68kg final.

China’s Gong Li added the world women’s under-61kg title to her Asian Games gold with a dominant display to defeat Turkey’s Fatman Naz Yenen 6-1.

Kazakhstan’s Moldir Zhangbyrbay overcame Italy’s Erminia Perfetto 6-5 to win women’s under-50kg gold, while Ayaka Saito crushed Spain’s María Torres 6-0 in the women’s over-68kg final.

Hong Kong’s Grace Lau, left, and Japan’s Hikaru Ono, right, acknowledge the crowd after their women's individual kata final ©WKF
Hong Kong’s Grace Lau, left, and Japan’s Hikaru Ono, right, acknowledge the crowd after their women's individual kata final ©WKF

There was also joy for Greece as Christos Stefanos cruised to a 7-1 victory over Kazakhstan’s Kaisar Alpysbay to seal the men’s under-60kg crown.

Spain’s Damián Quintero’s run of defeats in the world men’s individual kata final continued after losing to Turkey’s Ali Sofuoğlu.

The Olympic silver medallist had lost in three previous gold-medal matches and he was unable to end that record as he lost by 45.6 to 44.5.

The women’s individual kata final was won by Japan’s Hikaru Ono who defeated Hong Kong’s Grace Lau by 44.8 to 43.8.

Gold medals were also awarded in the Para karate competition with Egypt enjoying a successful day.

Salma Alaaeldin Ebrahim beat Nadin Youssef by 40.2 to 38.1 in an all-Egyptian women’s intellectually impaired K22 final.

Egypt also claimed gold in the men’s intellectually impaired K22 category as Ahmed Elbeltagy edged world number one Mattia Allesina of Italy by 38.8 to 36.7.

Spain's Carlos Huertes Ruiz captured the men’s intellectually impaired K21 with a victory by 41.4 to 39.5 against Germany’s Albert Singer.

Olivia Kakosky secured gold for Hungary when she beat Spain's Lucia Sanchez Rosado by 41.5 to 40.5 in the women’s intellectually impaired K21 final.

Competition is due to conclude tomorrow.