Thursday, 29 July 2021

Gold Medal Match Between Croatian Players for the First Time Ever!

July 29, 2021 - Historic! An unthinkable and spectacular event has happened today not only in Croatian sports history but also in the Olympic Games. Mate Pavić and Nikola Mektić have won today and there will be a Gold Medal Match between Croatian players in Tokyo 2020!

The morning got off to a great start for Croatia at the Olympics, after the couple Marin Cilić and Ivan Dodig beat their New Zealand rivals in the semi-final, thus securing at least one medal for their country. But in recent days, everyone was closely following the fact that two pairs of Croatian tennis players reached the semifinals, as the brand-new champions of the doubles category at Wimbledon, Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić, had also managed to reach those instances.

With the four Croatian tennis players in the semifinals, a bronze medal was already confirmed for the Croatian delegation. But with today's victory for Cilić and Dodig (6-2, 6-2) over their New Zealand counterparts Daniell and Venus, Croatia had already secured at least one silver medal. Even before it happened, everyone was wondering, "What if there was a final between Croats?".

And that's how it went from imagination to reality. Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić defeated their American rivals Krajicek and Sandgren (6-4, 6-4), and Croatia thus secured a gold and silver medal in tennis in the doubles category, in what will be an unprecedented and exciting Croatian Gold Medal match in a tennis final.

To reach the grand final, Mektić and Pavić had to beat Brazilians Demoliner and Merlo in a close match (7-6, 6-4) in the first round. They then beat the Italians Musetti and Sonego in the second round, also in a difficult match (7-5, 6-7, 10-7). This earned them qualification for the quarterfinals, where they beat the locals McLachlan and Nishikori (6-3, 6-3). At this point, the dream of the Olympic medal was already approaching, with the Croatian tennis players in the semifinals. Today they beat Americans Austin Krajicek and Tennys Sandgren 6-4 in both sets, in a match that lasted 1 hour and 21 minutes.

Mektić and Pavić, the best tennis pair of today, have 51 victories and only five defeats this year. They both arrived in Tokyo as the recent champions of the Wimbledon doubles tournament this month.

Croatian sport reaches a historic moment with the first tennis doubles final between Croatian players, something that, although it is not the first time in the history of the Olympic Games, happened only in 1904 between American players and for the last time four years later, in 1908 between British players. So it has been 113 years since this incredible gold medal match feat was not attested.

The game is scheduled for tomorrow, and although the exact time is not yet confirmed, it is believed that it will be played around 8, after the bronze match between New Zealanders and Americans.

It is true that, although four Croatian tennis players will compete for first place, only two of them will be able to win the long-awaited gold medal. However, it can be said from now on that, regardless of the result, it is a historic moment and a great joy for Croatian tennis and sport in general. Congratulations to Mate Pavić, Marin Cilić, Nikola Mektić, and Ivan Dodig for the success!

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about the history of sport in Croatia and everything about its most famous athletes, be sure to check Total Croatia's guide.

Thursday, 29 July 2021

Čilić and Dodig to Doubles Final, Olympic Tennis Medal for Croatia Secured!

July 29, 2021 - Čilić and Dodig reached the finals of the Olympic Games in doubles with a victory against the New Zealand pair Daniell and Venus (6-2, 6-2) and thus secured an Olympic tennis medal for Croatia!

The joys in the Tokyo Olympics do not stop coming for Croatia, and especially in the doubles category in tennis, where until yesterday it was known that they had at least secured a bronze medal by having the couple Čilić and Dodig, and recent Wimbledon champions Mektić and Pavić, both in the semi-finals. But today Marin Čilić and Ivan Dodig beat their New Zealand rivals (6-2, 6.2) and qualified for the final, now securing a silver medal for Croatia.

Later, Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić will play with the Americans Austin Krajicek and Tennys Sandgren, and in the event of the victory of Mektić and Pavić, Croatia would win another medal in Tokyo, and for the first time, we would watch the Croatian final at the Olympic Games, reports

Čilić and Dodig easily celebrated in the semifinals against the New Zealanders. It was uncertain only up to 2: 2 in the first set. After that, the Croatian tennis players made a series of eight games, rushed to 6: 2, 4: 0, and calmly kept the advantage for a huge celebration.

To reach this stage, Čilić and Dodig had to beat the Japanese Daniel and Nishioka (6-2, 6-4) in the first round. In the second round they beat the Americans Ram and Tiafoe (6-3, 7-5), and yesterday they beat the British Murray and Salisbury (4-6, 7-6, 10-7) for the quarterfinals.

Until the Games in Tokyo, Čilić and Dodig played 22 doubles matches and celebrated in 12 of them, and they had the best form in 2016 when they recorded all doubles victories in the Davis Cup, but despite that, Croatia lost the Davis Cup final that year to Argentina.

In the finals, they could expect Mektić and Pavić, the best tennis pair of today, which has 51 victories and only five defeats this year. It should be remembered that Metkić and Pavić arrived in Tokyo as the recent champions of the Wimbledon doubles tournament this month.

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about the history of sport in Croatia and everything about its most famous athletes, be sure to check Total Croatia's guide.

Thursday, 29 July 2021

More Than a Million Tourists in Croatia At the Moment

July 29, 2021 - The latest report from the eVisitor system gives an impressive and hopeful number for Croatian tourism: one million tourists are currently in Croatia!

According to current data from the eVisitor system, there are currently more than 1 million and 6 thousand tourists in Croatia, of which 866,000 are foreign tourists and 140,000 domestic tourists, reports HrTurizam.

Most tourists currently stay in Istria (273,000), Split-Dalmatia (191,000), and Primorje-Gorski Kotar County (187,000). It is followed by Zadar County (168,000) and Šibenik-Knin County (77,000) and Dubrovnik-Neretva County (62,000). Most tourists are currently in Rovinj, Vir, and Porec.

In terms of markets, the largest number of foreign tourists currently in Croatia come from Germany (203,000), Slovenia (140,000), Poland (86,000), Austria (75,000) and the Czech Republic (61,000).

"There are currently more than a million tourists in Croatia, which is 220,000 more than at the same time last year. These figures are the best confirmation that all previous activities and preparations of the tourism sector for this year were of high quality and that our guests recognized it. We are still in the period with the largest influx of tourists in the year and I call on everyone to remain responsible, adhere to epidemiological measures and recommendations, and thus protect ourselves and others, "said Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac.

Also, a new ECDC map is expected today, for which we all hope that the Adriatic will remain in orange. In the event that the Adriatic turns red, it will certainly immediately affect the reservations, but still, it should not be as drastic a situation as last year. The biggest problem will be if the states put the need for quarantine to return from Croatia, in case the Adriatic ends in the red.

For more on Croatian tourism and destinations that you might want to pay a visit to in the near future, make sure to follow our dedicated travel section.

Thursday, 29 July 2021

Damir Martin into Olympic Single Sculls Rowing Final in Tokyo!

July 29,  2021 - Damir Martin has secured a spot in the Olympic single sculls rowing final in Tokyo! 

After winning the silver in single sculls from Rio de Janeiro in 2016, Croatian rower Damir Martin advanced to the final of the Olympic Games in Tokyo!

Martin took second place in his semifinal group behind the excellent Norwegian Kjetil Borch, and ahead of Lithuanian Mindaugas Grškonis.

Already after about 200 meters, Martin took second place. In the first pass he was 94 hundredths behind Borch, in the middle of the race he was 97 hundredths behind, and 500 meters before the finish 1.28 seconds. In the end, Borch was up 2.35 seconds. Martin's placement among the top six was never in question at any point.

With this success, Martin completed a great day for Croatia rowing in Tokyo. Earlier on Thursday, brothers Valent and Martin Sinković became Olympic champions in coxless pairs!

This is the third Olympic medal for the Sinković brothers in the third different discipline. In 2012, they won silver in the quadruple sculls in London, when Martin was also in the boat with them, and in 2016 in London, they won gold in the double sculls. 

Martin, Borch, and Grishkonis in the A final, which is scheduled on Friday at 2:45 am Croatian time, are joined by Greek rower Stefanos Ntoukousis, who achieved the best time in the semifinals, Dane Sverri Nielsen, and Russian Alexander Vyazovkin, while the big favorite German Oliver Zeidler was left without the final as he entered the finish line fourth.

"I am satisfied with my placement in the finals, but certainly not with rowing. I struggled with maintaining direction, the wind carried me to the buoys, and I dragged four or five. If it weren't for that, I would have managed to get the Norwegian rower with a minimum delay. I'm ready like a dragon. I've paddled a race like this, even though I was dragging buoys behind me. I am really ready," said Martin. 

Source: HRT

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Thursday, 29 July 2021

Croatia Tops Montenegro in Game 3 of Olympic Games in Tokyo (13:8)

July 29, 2021 - Croatia tops Montenegro in Game 3 of the Olympic Games in Toyko (13:8)!

Croatia water polo met Montenegro in the third round match of the Olympic Games in Tokyo on Thursday. 

Ivica Tucak's side started the competition with a huge victory against Kazakhstan but surprisingly lost to Australia in game two. Croatia must now look for points against tougher opponents - Montenegro is followed by tough matches against Serbia and Spain.

1st Quarter

Miloš scored Croatia's first goal to equalize with 5:39 left on the clock. The next 3 minutes saw neither team score, with counter fouls committed on both sides. Lončar finally hit the post with just over 2 minutes to go, but the game remained 1:1. Garcia missed a good chance with less than a minute left. The 1st quarter ended at 1:1. 

2nd Quarter

Croatia and Montenegro both missed goals in their opening attacks but Bukić finally put Croatia in the lead for 2:1 with 6:42 to go. A Fatović rocket made it +2 for Croatia with 6 minutes left! Another incredible reaction followed as Bušlje tapped in his first goal for the 4:1 lead.

Fatović was on fire and scored his second goal for 2:5 with 3:44 to go. Fatović scored again for 6:3 with less than 2 minutes on the clock. 

Obradović made it 7:4 with an extra-man goal with less than a minute in the 2nd. The 2nd quarter finished 7:5 for Croatia. 

3rd Quarter

Garcia opened the 3rd quarter with a goal for 8:5 and scored another rocket for 9:6 with less than three minutes to go! Luka Lončar scored his first goal of the match for 10:7 with less than 2 minutes on the clock. Luka Bukić made it 11:8 to end the 3rd quarter. 

4th Quarter

Vukičević scored for 12:8 Croatia to open the final quarter, and scored again for 13:8 with just over 2 minutes to go in the game! Bijač was brilliant in goal to keep Croatia in the lead with less than a minute on the clock. The game ended 13:8 for Croatia! 

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Thursday, 29 July 2021

Sinković Brothers Take Rowing Olympic Gold Medal in Tokyo!

July 29, 2021 - The Sinković brothers have done it again - they have won the rowing Olympic gold medal in Tokyo!

The celebrated Valent and Martin Sinković have won the Olympic gold in the coxless pairs discipline at the Olympic Games in Tokyo!

The Sinković brothers started strongly in their style from the start and immediately took the lead. After 500 meters, they had a 1.16-second advantage over Denmark and more than two seconds over the other four crews. In the middle of the race, the Sinković brothers were already a boat's length in front of the first runners-up, Romania, and Denmark, and held that advantage until the last 200 meters.

In the very end, the excellent Romania team of Marius Cozmiuc and Ciprian Tudosa managed to get closer, but the Sinković brothers attacked and passed the finish line with a 1.29-second advantage. The bronze was won by Denmark's Frederic Vystavel and Joachim Sutton.

This is the third Olympic medal for the Sinković brothers in the third different discipline, after the silver in the quadruple sculls from London 2012 and the gold in the doubles sculls from Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

The Sinković brothers reached a new triumph with convincing victories in all three of their appearances in Tokyo, starting on Saturday in the qualifiers, continuing on Wednesday in the semifinals, and finishing the job on Thursday in the finals.

This is the second gold for Croatia in Tokyo, three days after taekwondo fighter Matea Jelić was the best in the category up to 67 kilograms.

"I don't know what to say smartly, we said everything on the track. The race is exactly as we imagined. We got Romania every time they tried to catch up with us," said Martin Sinković.

Valent added:

"Romania tested us to the limit. They set off before we thought of an attack, at 1000 meters already, we let them in a bit, and then at 750, we hit all the way so they didn’t feel blood. The last 200 we did the work, we said we wouldn’t breathe."

"We wanted to cross the finish line first and we achieved that. We made history, we made history with the world’s first gold, and now we’re still up," said Martin.

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Thursday, 29 July 2021

Bank Warns of Potential Jeopardy Despite Good Croatian Economic Outlook

July the 29th, 2021 - The Croatian National Bank (CNB/HNB) has warned of potential issues that the domestic economy might yet face despite the currently favourable Croatian economic outlook.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, due to the possibility of a new wave of the coronavirus pandemic and potential lockdowns, there is room for the further growth of property prices above their real value with the risk of a sudden and sharp decline, as well as the growth of bad loans after the abolition of measures and grants. These are just a couple of potential issues which could arise and directly threaten Croatia's still fragile recovery and growth throughout the rest of 2021.

The current Croatian economic outlook is good, and that growth is expected to be between 5 and 7 percent, as most analysts see it, while the most optimistic of all is the CNB itself, which in its baseline scenario expects as much as 6.8 percent of GDP growth this year. Personal consumption, investment, as well as exports are growing, and a massive stimulus from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan is expected.

Of course, all of this mostly depends on the summer season for which tourism workers are now trying to make last for as long as possible and bring at least 70 percent of revenue from pre-pandemic 2019. The success of the 2021 tourist season depends mostly on the (non)materialisation of this first risk, reports Novi list.

CNB Governor Boris Vujcic recently explained that the aforementioned growth is higher than 6 percent (6.8 percent) of the CNB's basic scenario: this is what the CNB expects as the most probable course of events, and it implies that the worst of the crisis is behind us, but dangers remain.

In short, the national bank doesn't expect that the aforementioned risks will materialise, however, there is a danger which remains and the central bank is aware of it. Therefore, if there was a significant deterioration of the epidemiological situation and the fourth wave did arrive, Vujcic said that the Croatian economy would survive another lockdown, but growth, he said, would be slower due to the situation in the most affected sectors.

There are also sectors that work independently and aren't really influenced by the pandemic, and they would still pull in some growth in such a dire scenario. The CNB has now, in a new issue of its publication Macroprudential Diagnostics, enumerated these potential triggers for the creation of a risk and analysed them in detail.

“The great uncertainty and unpredictability of the course of the pandemic poses risks in the coming period, despite the growing proportion of the population being vaccinated. The possibility of a new wave after the summer months is an important risk to take into consideration for the continued recovery of Croatian economic activity.

The possible worsening of the epidemiological situation and the strengthening of epidemiological measures, including localised measures, would adversely affect the speed of recovery and the Croatian economic outlook, as well as the sustainability of public finances,'' the CNB said.

Delaying Croatian economic recovery and premature withdrawal of measures introduced during the pandemic could lead to a deterioration in the debt service capacity of part of the private sector, especially those in which debt levels are high and support measures contribute significantly to maintaining relatively stable incomes. Total exposure to systemic risks during the second quarter of 2021 remain high, according to the CNB.

Further progress in terms of the vaccination of the population, together with the mitigation and eventual abolition of epidemiological measures, should support the continuation of the economic recovery during 2021 and secure a decent Croatian economic outlook going forward.

For more, follow our lifestyle section.

Thursday, 29 July 2021

Croatian Medico Hospital Develops Innovative Spine Treatment Method

July the 29th, 2021 - The Croatian Medico Hospital, which is a special hospital, is the first in the entire world to develop an innovative and quite remarkable method for the treatment of the spine.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, the Croatian Medico Hospital is starting a project to invest in the application of an intervertebral disc patch (IVD patch), a new personalised method of treating damaged spinal discs, as well as the introduction of a software solution for the early detection of lumbar spine damage.

This scientific research project was positively evaluated and funded within the IRI project from European Union (EU) funds, and the obtained funds will be invested in further research and development of this minimally invasive method of treating lower back pain, the hospital reports.

The total value of the project carried out by the Croatian Medico Hospital amounts to a massive 14 million kuna, of which more than half is paid for by grants.

The special hospital's collaborating institutions are the Department of Biotechnology, the University of Rijeka, the ''Martin Horvat'' Special Hospital for Orthopedics and Rehabilitation from Rovinj and their project partner, Penta d.o.o. from Pula. The project is being implemented within the Competitiveness and Cohesion Operational Programme, within the program for research, development and innovation (IRI).

As one of the leaders in the introduction and application of new, modern technologies in diagnostics and treatment, the Croatian Medico Hospital noted the need for the profession to step forward in the treatment of lower back pain, which is frighteningly common, it also noted a lack of available solutions in treatment and diagnosis of spinal disc damage.

Although research/scientific projects are a specific feature of university hospitals, the Croatian Medico Hospital, as a private health institution, is one of the few that has received European Union funds for its scientific research to invest in the further development of its innovative method.

In addition to the research process focused on the IVD patch - an innovative combination of stem cell injections, the uniqueness of this project is reflected in the development of a software solution (AI) - a form of artificial intelligence that will improve the standardisation of radiological results/findings. The functioning of the software in practice has been conceived on the principle of the early recognition of degenerative changes.

The basic expected role of the software will be to alert radiologists and neurosurgeons so that they can observed damage to the intervertebral discs between the five existing lumbar vertebrae and to provide an optimal assessment of whether a patient is a candidate for a minimally invasive intradiscal method of treatment to regenerate the disc.

"We're extremely proud of the project and the recent start of this innovative method, which aims to improve the overall treatment of patients with damaged cartilage of the spinal discs, but also shorten their rehabilitation period,'' said the project leader and neurosurgeon Zlatko Kolic, the director of this special hospital.

In the preparation and implementation of clinical research and application of autologous IVD patches, as well as clinical and neuroradiological monitoring, the Croatian Medico Hospital will work closely with Antonija Jurak Begonja from the Department of Biotechnology, University of Rijeka, and Marinko Rade, the director of the "Martin Horvat" facility.

"I see the opportunity to work with experts at Medico Special Hospital on the application of IVD patches as progress in researching non-invasive methods for the treatment of the spine and I'm proud that here in Croatia, we have the opportunity to develop this innovative and complex project that I believe will benefit patients and doctors who deal primarily with spinal injuries in their work,'' said Marinko Rade.

The regenerative method and the outcomes of its application in treatment will be monitored through an eighteen-month-long clinical study and will be compared with the treatment outcomes of other, previously known, intradiscal methods.

For more, follow Made in Croatia.

Thursday, 29 July 2021

7.5 Billion Kuna Paid Out to Micro and Small Croatian Enterprises

July the 29th, 2021 - The government introduced job preservation measures in an attempt to tackle the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic and all of the related lockdowns throughout 2020. When it comes to micro and small Croatian enterprises, the amounts paid out to keep their heads above water are generous indeed.

As Jadranka Dozan/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, according to the daily "barometer" of the Croatian Employment Service (CES), there are currently 126,175 unemployed persons officially registered as such across Croatia, which is slightly less than were officially registered back at the beginning of the month.

The latest available data from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) and the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute for the month of June this year confirmed this positive continuation of employment growth.

According to the CBS, there were a total of 1.56 million employees across Croatia in the middle of the year, and the number of insured persons reached 1.6 million, recording the fourth month of consecutive growth when compared to last year.

In addition to domestic economic recovery, these developments are also influenced by the aforementioned measures to preserve jobs (ORM) introduced shortly after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. From last March to the end of May this year, 11.05 billion kuna in aid for was paid out to companies.

Of that amount - and in addition to co-financing the payment of salaries, the measure of compensation of fixed costs introduced at the end of last year has also been included - standing at 8.24 billion kuna which was paid last year, and 2.81 billion kuna which was paid out during the first five months of this year. Most of the money from these measures in the past 15 months, about 5.3 billion kuna of it, was directed to micro Croatian enterprises (with up to 10 employees), and a further 20 percent ended up going to small Croatian enteprises (which have between 11 and 50 employees).

As opposed to small Croatian enterprises, for the purpose of preserving jobs, less than 1.8 billion kuna was diverted to medium and large enterprises. Both the amount and the number of workers covered by these measures are now gradually decreasing.

For more, make sure to follow our dedicated business section.

Thursday, 29 July 2021

Zagreb Dominos Pizza Among World's Top 5 in Terms of Delivery Speed

July the 29th, 2021 - The Zagreb Dominos Pizza restaurant, located close to the Sheraton Hotel in the heart of the city, has been ranked among the world's top five Dominos Pizza restaurants in terms of delivery speeds.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes, Dominos Pizza, a world-famous American pizza company, will soon open the doors of yet another location here in Croatia, in Zagreb's Tresnjevka, more precisely in Trakoscanska Street (Ulica).

All about pizza is responsible for the arrival of the huge company which is very well known as the global leader in terms of pizza delivery with more than 18,000 locations. The expansion of business operations in our country coincides with the celebration of the company's first anniversary of operations here in Croatia.

"The Tresnjevka location was planned as our second location right from the very beginning. A lot of our customers come to our first location near the Sheraton Hotel from that part of the city, however, due to the limited delivery zone we weren't able to deliver to their home addresses.

We're planning the opening up in August, the space will be the same design in which we'll follow the combinations of black walls, brick and wood. The kitchen is always in the same design, lined with tiles that are white-black combinations, and the oven that is the heart of Dominos Pizza will remain red. It's going to be a smaller space, but that's why we'll have a terrace with a dozen seats,'' revealed Mihael Sviben, the directo of All about pizza when discussing the next Zagreb Dominos Pizza location.

They currently have five employees, and according to Sviben, they're store managers, operations managers, dough making operations managers and the so-called junior manager, and the rest of the team consists of about forty students, which is excellent for the job market.

“Opening a global franchise during a time dominated by an unprecedented crisis was a challenge. In following the situation with the coronavirus pandemic, we invested effort and will and worked every day to improve our services, whether that meant operations within the company itself, the organisation of suppliers, product improvement, to negotiations with suppliers in order to get our hands on the highest quality ingredients.

With this effort, we managed to climb the ladder and be ranked among the top five branches in the world in terms of our delivery speed, and back in January we were third in the world in terms of the number of pizzas sold. Our average delivery time on a weekly basis is just nineteen minutes, and the sales of our products didn't stop even during the most difficult epidemiological conditions, they even increased later on,'' explained Sviben, adding that he is especially pleased with the fact that most of the foods placed on Zagreb Dominos Pizza's food are originally from Croatia, which is what they've been aiming for from the very beginning.

Although the first plan is to expand across the country, Sviben isn't ruling out expanding to the rest of Croatia's immediate region.

"We plan to further develop the franchise in all parts of the City of Zagreb and in other Croatian cities as well, such as Rijeka, Osijek, Zadar, Split, Pula," concluded Mihael Sviben.

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