Meet Ana Đerek, 19-Year-Old Gold Medalist Keeping Croatian Gymnastics on the World Map

By 20 March 2018

19-year-old Split gymnast Ana Đerek won the gold medal at the World Cup in Baku over the weekend. 

Just two days ago, on March 18th, 19-year-old Ana Đerek won the gold medal in women’s floor exercises at the World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan. 

The Split gymnast and Croatian Olympian scored 13,533 points to win her first ever gold medal. Ioanna Xoulogi of Greece took the silver (12,733 points) while Turkey’s Demet Mutlu won the bronze medal. Đerek is a member of Split based GK Marjan at tournaments from the World Cup series. 


“I am delighted and overwhelmed; this is my first competition of the season, my first gold at a World Cup in my career, and one of the highest points in my life. This really was the opening of a dream season,” said Ana after the competition.

The mayor of Split, Andro Krstulović Opara, even congratulated the young gymnast.

“Our glorious Ana Đerek, in my name and on behalf of all our fellow citizens, we congratulate you on the gold medal won today at the World Cup in Baku! Dearest Ana, behind your success, is a year of effort, work and perseverance. Let this medal be the motivation and inspiration for further action, and we look forward to every new achievement! We are also grateful for all members of GK Marjan for the successful sports promotion of our city all over the world for many years,” Andro Krstulović Opara wrote on his Facebook. 

With this achievement, Ana Đerek has once again put Croatian gymnastics on a world map and showed that Croatia has stellar female gymnasts, too. 

"I did not expect such a result in Baku, as it is a very competitive event in the season and I was dealing with some health problems before. But I'm thrilled that I had everything covered, and it happened this way,” added Ana. 

Coach Magda Ilić has worked with Ana for 14 years.

"No, Ana did not surprise us. When we saw the list of who will compete in the final, coach Miro Končarević and I thought that she would enter the finals, but what medal she would take was difficult to decide,” Ilić said. 

Ana’s father Mirko chose gymnastics as a traditional base sport for his daughter. And it was love at first sight. 

''As with every conscious parent, it was good to choose gymnastics as a base sport. To keep up with it however long she could. We thought that she wouldn’t be in gymnastics this long, but she loved it,” Mirko said.

Now, Ana will compete in the demanding Doha World Cup where Ana’s boyfriend, Croatia's best athlete in 2017, will also compete - Tin Srbić.

“I am waiting for Thursday's World Cup qualifier. My expectations and goals are always the same - to do the exercise, what I worked on with the coach, in the best possible way. If this is done properly, the result will come,” concluded Ana. 

Excerpts taken from Dalmacija Danas,