The headlines could have belonged to Hungary’s Gábor Hárspataki having guaranteed the host nation’s first medal after reaching the men’s under-75 kilogram final.
But the day ended with an almost empty Papp László Budapest Sports Arena after vehement protests from the Turkish delegation led to a delay in the completion of the women’s under-50kg category.
The Turkish team have accused Venezuela of a rules breach after claiming that the trainer of Yorgelis Salazar had already coached the Montenegrin team.
Remonstrations with officials continued long after Salazar’s contentious quarter-final victory over Serap Özçelik as Turkey called for the competition to be postponed until tomorrow.
Salazar went on to play in the last four where she was convincingly defeated by Moldir Zhangbyrbay of Kazakhstan while Turkey refused to back down in opposition of the controversial decision.
Zhangbyrbay secured a showdown with Italy’s Erminia Perfetto who defeated China’s Li Ranran 7-5 in the other semi-final.
Almost all the spectators had left the stadium when the delayed repechage matches were finally completed.
There was also controversy in the women’s under-55kg division as Ukraine’s Anzhelika Terliuga booked her place in the final only for the result to be scrubbed off following a successful appeal by Bulgaria.
Terliuga had secured a 14-11 victory over Ivet Goranova in a thrilling semi-final, appearing to gain revenge after losing to the Bulgarian in the Olympic final at Tokyo 2020.
However, the match was forced to be replayed from when Goranova was 5-4 up with 77 seconds remaining after Bulgaria won their appeal over timing issues.
It was found that at that point in the semi-finals, officials had failed to put the time back on 30 seconds after a stoppage was ended.
After being given a second chance, Goranova then seized her opportunity, completing a 6-4 triumph.
Turkey’s Tuba Yakan, the four-time European champion, will be Goranova’s opponent in the final after she defeated Venezuela’s Barbara Perez.
It was a jam-packed day with six kumite categories played across six tatami in just shy of 11 hours of play.
Hárspataki, the Olympic bronze medallist, has boosted Hungary’s hopes of a home gold medal after making the world final for the first time.
The Hungarian scored an ippon with three seconds left to beat Hamza Turulja of Bosnia and Herzegovina in a dramatic semi-final.
Top seed Abdalla Abdelaziz is expected to present a big challenge for Hárspataki after the Egyptian cruised to victory over Ukraine’s Andrii Zaplitnyi.
France’s Olympic champion Steven Da Costa remains on track to win his third successive men’s under-67kg world crown.
After struggling in his opening bout, the Frenchman got better with every round before overcoming Kazakhstan’s Didiar Amirali in the last four.
Montenegro’s Nenad Dulovic will meet Da Costa after clinching a place in the final courtesy of a win over Germany’s Muhammed Oezdemier.
Turkey’s Fatma Naz Yenen and Gong Li of China will go head-to-head for the women’s under-61kg title.
The semi-finals saw Yenen brush aside Egypt’s Noursin Aly and newly-crowned Asian Games champion Gong edge France’s Laura Sivert.
Christos-Stefanos Xenos of Greece stunned Turkey’s Olympic silver medallist and double European champion Eray Samdan to make the men’s under-60kg final.
He has been rewarded with a showdown against Kazakhstan’s Kaisar Alpysbay who overcame Italy’s Angelo Crescenzo.
Competition is due to continue tomorrow.