Matea Jelić became Croatia's first-ever gold medallist in taekwondo with victory at Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

Matea Jelić pulled off a sensational fightback to beat Britain’s Lauren Williams, becoming Croatia’s maiden Olympic taekwondo champion and capturing the nation’s first gold medal of this year’s Games here in Tokyo.

Williams looked set to secure the women’s under-67 kilogram crown when she led 18-13 in the closing minute and was 21-18 up with 10 seconds left.

But Jelić produced a stunning late flurry, levelling the scores with a shot to the head before scoring three more points to clinch a last-gasp 25-22 triumph.

It capped a superb day for Croatia in taekwondo as Toni Kanaet bagged bronze in the men’s under-80kg category.

There were also two bronze medals for Egypt at the Makuhari Messe Hall A, while Maksim Khramtsov clinched men’s under-80kg gold for ROC with an emphatic 20-9 victory over Saleh El-Sharabaty of Jordan.

El-Sharabaty had hoped to follow in the footsteps of Ahmad Abu-Ghaush, who made history at Rio 2016 when he became the first Jordanian athlete to win Olympic gold.

Khramtsov quickly gained a stranglehold on the bout, and while El-Sharabaty managed to get on the board with a punch before pulling off a superb spinning kick to the head to get within one point of his opponent, he never got any closer and Khramtsov forged ahead again and secured a dominant victory.

Maksim Khramtsov proved too strong for Saleh El-Sharabaty in the men's under-80kg final ©Getty Images
Maksim Khramtsov proved too strong for Saleh El-Sharabaty in the men's under-80kg final ©Getty Images

Seif Eissa of Egypt produced an almost flawless display to defeat Richard Ordemann of Norway 12-4 to claim the other bronze on offer.

He looked inspired after watching Hedaya Wahba earn bronze for Egypt with a 17-6 triumph against Paige McPherson of the United States.

Wahbe bagged bronze in the under-57kg at Rio 2016 and stepped up a weight category to under-67kg to claim the same colour in Tokyo.

The match started with a bang as both fighters landed scores in the opening 10 seconds with strikes to the trunk, but they were the only points in the opening round and it remained a low-scoring bout until the closing minute.

Wahba edged ahead with a punch before McPherson responded with a three-pointer to take a 5-3 lead heading into the final round.

The Egyptian got within one point with a punch before crucially landing shots to the trunk and then head with 40 seconds remaining.

McPherson suffered a couple more blows as Wahba powered to victory.

Ruth Gbagbi of Ivory Coast retained her Olympic bronze medal in the division with a 12-8 victory over Milena Titoneli of Brazil.

Taekwondo action is due to conclude tomorrow with the finals of the men's over-80kg and women's over-67kg divisions.