Nine Croatian Athletes Already Qualified for Tokyo 2020 Olympics

By 11 April 2019

Just over a year remains until the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, and most Croatian athletes are just beginning their Olympic qualifiers. However, some of these concerns have already been resolved, as nine Croatian athletes have already secured their visa for Tokyo. The last among them is the current Olympic champion in trap shooting - Josip Glasnović, reports on April 10, 2019. 

In the embrace of his close family and friends and with a surprise tamburitza band, Josip Glasnović celebrated his gold medal at the World Cup in the United Arab Emirates back in Zagreb. 

"The qualifiers were excellent - 125 of 125, I broke or equaled the world record, where only 12 people in the world have done this, and I'm happy and honored that I won the gold," said the 2016 Rio Olympic gold medalist in trap shooting. 

But this isn’t important just because Glasnović won yet another flashy medal, but because Croatia’s current Olympic champion has qualified for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

"That's really what it is about, as the Olympic Games are the Olympic Games. I again have the chance to defend the gold medal, and even though it's hard to qualify in our sport, here I am and that’s it,” said Josip Glasnović.

Glasnović has thus become the ninth member of the Croatian Olympic team in Tokyo. So far, the 2020 Olympic Games will feature Croatian athletes in air rifle shooting - Snježana Pejčić, Petar Gorša, and Miran Maričić, followed by sailor Tonči Stipanović in the Laser class and the Fantela brothers in the 49er class, and Split's young swimming sensations Franko Grgić and Marin Mogić.

Additionally, Croatia’s U21 football team could qualify for the Olympic Games for the first time if they make it to the semi-final at the upcoming U21 Euro Championship.

"I think this is a great motive for all players, I believe they are aware of that, and it would certainly mean a lot to me as a coach as well," said the U21 Croatia national team coach Nenad Gračan.

And if our young football team receives a visa for Tokyo, Gračan can invite three players to the Olympic tournament without an age restriction. Rakitić and Perišić have reportedly already shown interest. 

"Well, they expressed their wishes. Maybe Luka Modrić, too!” said Gračan. 

In the last two Games, Croatia has crushed its record for the number of Olympic medals won. In London 2012, Croatian athletes won six medals, and four years later in Rio, they nearly doubled their harvest with as many as ten. Let’s hope the trend continues in Tokyo.

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