Split Swimmer Franko Grgic Nominated for Best Young European Athlete

By 26 September 2019

September 26, 2019 - Promising Croatian swimmer, 16-year-old Franko Grgic, who won two gold swimming medals in the 800-meter and 1500-meter races at this year's World Junior Championships, has been selected among the five finalists for the Piotr Nurowski Award, to be awarded by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) for the ninth time.

Namely, reports that the winner of this year's award will be selected at the very end of the two-day EOC 48th General Assembly in Warsaw, after the presentation of the five final candidates, when members of the assembly will decide by direct vote on the best young European athlete in 2019.

The very nomination of Franko Grgic in the top five young athletes in Europe is a great achievement and an exceptional honor, both for the Croatian swimmer and for Croatian sport, as all 50 EOO members had the right to nominate. 

Croatia’s best young athlete and the highest male hope of Croatian swimming in 2019, and the evident Olympic contender for the Tokyo Olympics in two disciplines (800-meter and 1500 meter), was nominated for the Piotr Nurowski Award in early September by the Croatian Olympic Committee.

Recall, the PK Jadran Split swimmer had an outstanding August, celebrating two gold medals and achieving new records at the 7th FINA World Junior Swimming Championships in Budapest.

After winning the gold in the 800-meter-freestyle while breaking a Croatian record, the 16-year-old swimming sensation became the world champion in the 1500-meter-freestyle and achieved a new world junior record with a time of 14:46.09 minutes. Grgić swam 10.46 seconds faster in Budapest than his best-ever record in the 1500 meters, which was also Croatia's national record.

Franko’s previous career-fastest in the 800-meter free was achieved in Zagreb in March where he swam 7:53.75. In Budapest, however, Grgić was 8 seconds faster, thus breaking the Croatian record held by Marin Mogić (7:51:78). 

Grgić was thus named the 25th fastest performer of all-time, any age, in this 800-meter freestyle.

Earlier this year, Grgić won the gold in the 400-meter and 1500 meter at the EYOF in Baku, and also hit the Olympic standard for Tokyo 2020.

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