Numerous youth divisions were contested as competition began ©WKF

Croatia’s Lucija Lesjak delivered home success at the World Karate Federation (WKF) Karate1 Youth Cup in Umag.

The local athlete triumphed in the women’s over 59 kilogram junior kumite competition at the Sport Venue Hall Maria and Lino in the Croatian city.

She saw off the challenge of Bosnia’s and Herzegovina’s Ilma Rahmanovic by an 8-0 scoreline in the gold medal bout.

Italy’s Serena Tempestini and Russia’s Anna Shcherbina will compete for the women’s kata cadet title after booking their places in the final.

The pair produced a series of impressive displays to reach the semi-finals, where they both saw off tough opposition.

Tempestini would overcome Canada’s Megan Rochette 3-2 to advance to the final, before Shcherbina beat Sara Soldano by the same score.

The under-21 title will be earned by either Ema Brázdová of Slovakia or Terryana Onofrio of Italy, as they progressed well through the rounds.

Italy will be assured of success in the men’s under-21 kata event, as Samuel Stea and Andrea Nekoofar have both reached the final.

Karatekas began earning places in the latter stages of competitions in Umag ©WKF
Karatekas began earning places in the latter stages of competitions in Umag ©WKF

The cadet event will pit Finland’s Saku Virtanen against Alessio Ghinami of Italy.

Virtanen saw off the challenge of Montenegro’s Arijan Kocan by a 4-1 score in the first semi-final, before Ghinami beat Russia’s Aleksey Rakovskiy by the same margin.

Action is due to conclude tomorrow.

The event welcomes karatekas aged between 14 and 20-years-old competing in kata and kumite events.

In the three days prior to the event beginning, participants have been taking part in a training camp led by some of the world's best karatekas.

They included kata world champion Antonio Diaz, kata world and European champion Luca Valdesi and Brazil’s Douglas Brose, considered as one of the best karatekas from the nation of all time.