Spain's Damián Quintero has reached a fourth world final ©WKF

Spain's Damián Quintero has moved within one victory of capturing his first men's individual kata title at the fourth attempt after advancing to another final at the Karate World Championships here.

Quintero has reached the final on three previous occasions but has yet to taste victory after losing in 2016, 2018 and 2021.

The 39-year-old, who also claimed silver at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, will now aim to end that hoodoo when he heads into the gold-medal match at the at the Papp László Budapest Sports Arena on Sunday (October 29).

He was in superb form today, topping the standings in all three rounds and sealed his place in the final with a score of 43.1 points.

"I did better as the rounds progressed," said Quintero.

"I was not particularly nervous, but I felt a bit cold.

"When I reached the semi-finals, I thought that I had to give it all and I did my best kata in that round."

Standing in Quintero’s way will be Turkey's Ali Sofuoğlu, the Olympic bronze medallist who will also be seeking to secure his first maiden world crown.

Sofuoğlu, who has previously picked up two individual world bronze medals, overcame the challenge of Japan’s Kakeru Nishiyama to reach the final.

Nishiyama looked to have done enough to secure a showdown with Quintero after scoring 43.3 only for Sofuoğlu to seal top spot with 43.5.

"I want to enjoy the final on Saturday," added Quintero.

"I saved my best kata for the final.

"I knew that on the other side of the tree, I would meet my biggest rivals, but I want to do a good job at the final and enjoy it as much as possible."

The battle for bronze will be contested by Nishiyama, Egypt's Karim Waleed Ghaly, Ariel Torres of the United States and Italy's Mattia Busato

The women’s individual kata final will see Japan's Hikaru Ono and Hong Kong's Grace Lau fight it out for glory.

Ono registered the better score, notching 43.3, while Lau ranked first with 43.0 to move through to the final.

Neither have won an individual world title before, with Ono seeking to go one better than in 2021 when she picked up silver while Lau has two bronze medals to her name.

American Sakura Kokumai, Italy's Terryana D'Onofrio, Spain's Paola Garcia and Turkey's Dilara Bozan will compete for bronze.

The opening day of competition also saw kumite athletes compete, with the men’s over-84 kilograms, men’s under-84kg, women’s over-68kg and women’s under-68kg categories contested.

Japan's Ayaka Saito was the first to book her place in a kumite final, beating Egypt's Menna Shaaban Okila 3-1 to advance to the women’s over-68kg gold-medal match.

She will next face Spain's Maria Torres who defeated Kazakhstan’s Sofya Berultseva in a thrilling semi-final.

Okila and Berultseva will go into the bronze-medal matches where they will meet Tunisia's Chehinez Jemi and Italy's Clio Ferracuti respectively.

There was big shock in the men’s over-84kg division as France's Filali Mehdi stunned reigning Olympic champion Sajjad Ganjzadeh of Iran 8-3 to secure a spot in the final.

He will now face Egypt's Taha Tarek Mahmoud who overcame Brazil's Giovani Felipin Salgado 5-2 in the other semi-final.

Serbia's Tesanovic Djorde will go up against Felipin Salgado and Croatia's Anđelo Kvesić will tackle Ganjzadeh in the two bronze-medal contests.

Arguably the match of the day took place in the second semi-final of women’s under-68kg division when Azerbaijan's Iryna Zaretska overcame Indonesia's Ceyco Georgia Zefanya.

There was a flurry of scores in the final 20 seconds before Zaretska emerged victorious based on the fact she landed the first score in a 5-5 draw.

Switzerland's Elena Quirici had to dig deep to be France's Alizee Aqier 1-0 to advance to the final where she will face Zaretska.

The bronze-medal matches will see Zefanya face Germany's Madeleine Schroeter and Maria Isabel Nieto Mejias of Spain take on Agier.

Egypt's Youssef Badawy remains on course to defend the men’s under-84kg crown after reaching the final with victory over Eduard Gasparian.

Gasparian is one of 12 Russian athletes competing as a neutral but his hopes of taking home the title was over.

Badawy will next face Mahdi Khodabaksh in the final after the Iranian beat Japan's Rikito Shimada 6-5.

Gasparian is due to go up against Valerii Chobotar of Ukraine in an intriguing bronze-medal contest.

The presence of Russian athletes has angered Ukraine who failed a protest against their late entry after the World Karate Federation lifted the outright ban on their participation.

Shimada and Jordan's Mohammad Aljafari will compete in the other bronze-medal match.

Competition is due to continue tomorrow.