The Alka was held in Sinj today for the 302nd edition. The Croatian knight competition, which is traditionally held on the first Sunday of every August, celebrates the victory over the Ottoman Turks on August 14, 1715. Among the 10,000 spectators in Sinj today was President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, and President of Parliament Gordan Jandroković, reports Vecernji List and Slobodna Dalmacija on August 6, 2017.
Seventeen alkars joined the competition today, and the 37-degree heat in Sinj stopped no one from enjoying the fun. The competition was opened by Alkar Duke Ante Vučić, who, in his traditional address, sent a message of patriotism, heroism, peace and love for the Alka, as well praise for the determination of the Croatian people to defend their freedom and homeland.
Vučić thanked the Government and Defense Minister Damir Krstičević and sent a special greeting to Croatian general detainees at The Hague. Vučić especially welcomed Croatian water polo players and coach Ivica Tucak, thanking them for the "best promotion of Croatia," which was accompanied by a prolonged applause.
Lastly, Vučić emphasized that this generation of knights have been honored to experience two historic privileges - the jubilant 300th Sinjska Alka two years ago and the Vukovar Alka which was celebrated for the fourth time ever outside of Sinj.
“The celebratory Alka in Vukovar strengthened our national identity, just as the Croatian togetherness we witnessed in the recent and terrible fires that affected this part of Dalmatia did,” he emphasized.
In addition to the President, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković, Parliament Speaker and Head of Most Božo Petrov, Deputy Speaker of the Croatian Parliament Željko Reiner, Archbishop Marin Barišić, Sinj Mayor Kristina Križanac, Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić, Croatian Member of the Presidency of BiH Dragan Čović , Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Martina Dalić, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Damir Krstičević and many more were all in attendance.
The Alka began early this morning in front of the town’s church with prayer. This was followed by laying wreaths for the defenders of 1715, as well as for the deaths of the Homeland War and the deceased members of the Alka Knights Society. The Alka competition began just after 16:30. The competition can include no less than 11 and no more than 17 alkars, with the winner being crowned as the one who collects the most points.
After winning the Čoje yesterday, this year’s Alka winner was Alen Poljak from Glavice who will be celebrated in Sinj and the Cetina region as a hero and champion knight!