Sunday, 6 March 2022

Winter Paralympics: Bruno Bošnjak Finishes 9th in Snowboard Cross Qualifiers, Moves to Quarters

March 6, 2022 - Croatian snowboarder Bruno Bošnjak (38) finished ninth in the Snowboard Cross qualifiers at the Winter Paralympic Games in Beijing and will compete in the quarterfinals on Monday!

Fifteen snowboarders participated in the qualifications of the LL1 category and all of them won a place in the quarterfinals where there was room for the top 16, but in the first round of the competition, it was important to get the best position before tomorrow's competition.

In the quarterfinals, the competitors will be divided into four groups, from which the two best will continue to compete in the semifinals. The snowboarders had two runs each, and the best result was taken.

Bošnjak, who was born in Zagreb but has been living in Linz for almost 30 years, made a mistake in his first run and ended with a time of 1:12:73. He was three seconds faster in the second run but kept the ninth position.

The fastest was Canada's Tyler Turner (1:04.24), second place went to China's Zhongwei Wu (1:05:03), while team USA's Mike Schultz was third (1:05.73).

"I started the first run well, but I made a mistake and almost fell off the track - I barely escaped. The second run was much better, I flew in the jumps, I was much faster, but I stayed in ninth place," said Bošnjak, who won bronze in the banked slalom discipline in Pyeongchang four years ago. It was the first medal for Croatia in history at the Winter Paralympic Games.

"Tomorrow is a new day, the cards are shuffled again. This result is a solid base and we will see what will happen tomorrow," added Bošnjak, who will compete in the quarterfinals in a group with the winner of the qualifications, Canada's Turner, and Holland's Chris Vos, who was eighth.

The competition was held in Zhangjiakou Genting Snow Park with a limited number of spectators.

"The track is good, they made it nice, there are a lot of jumps, it is diverse, but it is also wide and safe. So you can go without fear. It's good to have spectators, the atmosphere was great," he said.

His coach Stipe Tomljanović also commented on Bošnjak's performance.

"I am satisfied with his performance. He made a mistake in the first run that he corrected in the second. The competition is extremely strong, there are also Chinese athletes who we haven't seen in two years. We will see how it will be in the quarterfinals," he said, adding: "The weather conditions are quite changeable as the temperature is changing very quickly. There is a huge difference between the first and second run. The first was very fast, the second slowed down, so there are changes. We do our best for the best possible result."

Source: HRT

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Wednesday, 16 February 2022

Samuel Kolega Finishes 15th, Filip Zubčić 18th in Olympic Men's Slalom

February 16, 2022 - Croatian skier Samuel Kolega finished 15th place in the Olympic men's slalom on Wednesday, ahead of Croatia's best skier Filip Zubčić. 

Croatia's best skier Filip Zubčić placed 18th in the men's slalom at the Beijing Winter Olympics on Wednesday. 

"I did better in the second run; I had a better feeling. It will be better on camera as well. For me, the Olympics are over, not the most successful. However, there are still races until the end of the season, and we are moving forward optimistically," said Zubčić for HRT after the race.

After placing 10th in the giant slalom and now the 18th in the slalom, Zubčić did not show his best skiing at the Olympic Games.

"I'm not satisfied; it's not the best. I wasn’t even in the top 15 today, so I won’t get anything for the starting list; I might be in the second group in the slalom. So it is, as it is. I did my best. I didn't do well today on this track. I thought it would be much better," said Zubčić and added:

"I came here; I felt great. I skied well; the training went well. But unfortunately, the giant slalom was very bad, especially the first run. Tenth place doesn’t sound bad, but it sounds bad to me. I thought the slalom would be better, but it wasn’t."

He is now turning to new challenges in the World Cup.

"Five more slaloms and three giant slaloms until the end of the season. A lot can still be done; we need to rest and then train until the end of the season," concluded Zubčić.

"I can't complain. The second run was not the greatest, but I did my best. It was not the best ride, but enough for 15th place, those are points, and I am glad," said Samuel Kolega, today the best Croatian skier in 15th place.

Matej Vidović skied to 20th place.

"The track did not suit me, but the conditions are great, as well as the organization. Unfortunately, we didn't make it. I had a weaker first run, better second, but we were not close to where we would like to be," Vidović concluded.

Source: HRT

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Sunday, 13 February 2022

Filip Zubčić Takes 10th, Samuel Kolega 21st in Olympic Giant Slalom

February 13, 2022 - Swiss Marco Odermatt is the Olympic giant slalom champion. He celebrated in front of Slovenian Žan Kranjec (+0.19), and bronze medalist Frenchman Mathieu Faivre (+1.34). Croatian skiers Filip Zubčić and Samuel Kolega took 10th and 21st place.

Croatian skiers Filip Zubčić and Samuel Kolega took 10th and 21st place, respectively, in today's giant slalom race at the Winter Olympics in Beijing, reports

After the first run in which Zubčić was 15th and Kolega 24th, and then delays due to unfavorable weather conditions, the second race was held in better conditions, and in the final standings both improved their results. Marco Odermatt won in front of the sensational Slovenian Žan Kranjec and Mathieu Faivre.

Zubčić was extremely self-critical after the first run, said it was a disaster and announced that he would be entering the second race with a lot of risk.

"Catastrophe as you saw. I will not enter 30 at all!"

When asked if the severe weather conditions affected his ride, he replied:

"Certainly not, it affected it because I skied criminally, a disaster. This is the worst round in the last three years." And when asked what he needed to do in the second race to stay alive? "Nothing. I will go all-in, whatever happens, happens."

It paid off for him because thanks to the combination of his racing, the potential of being relegated from the competition, and the poorer performance of some skiers, Zubčić ultimately improved his ranking. Thus, he had the ninth time in the second race, which would have been better if he avoided a mistake in the upper part of the track that took away his speed and a few tenths of a second. However, he was the first to cross the finish line and depended on the results of the skiers who followed.

Marco Odermatt confirmed the best time from the first run with an overall victory with a time of 2:09.35, which overtook Kranjec by 19 hundredths of a second and Faivre by 1.34 seconds.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Saturday, 12 February 2022

Filip Zubčić After Olympic Skiing Medal on Sunday

February 12, 2022 - Filip Zubčić is after an Olympic skiing medal on Sunday as he awaits his first performance at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Croatia's female skiers have returned to Croatia after performing at the Winter Olympics in Beijing, but Croatia's biggest trump card for the medal is still awaiting his first performance, reports HRT

The giant slalom is scheduled for Sunday, and Filip Zubčić is among the main favorites for one of the medals.

"The snow is a little different because it is completely artificial. It’s nice to ski; I hope it will be icy during the race, that would be nice. We enjoy everything here," said Filip Zubčić in a conversation with Croatian Radio reporter Krešimir Gotlin.

Does different snow mean different preparation, for example, lubricating the skis a certain way?

"When the snow is cold, it doesn't play a big role. We have new skis, which they made for me for such aggressive snow and need to be tested to so we will dedicate ourselves to that. And try to feel good before the race. I’m fine right now and can’t wait."

Did Filip have enough time to adjust to the time difference?

"I have no sleeping problems. I was tired from the trip the first night, so I slept for a long time. It didn't seem that I was so tired, but I obviously was, as I slept for 11 hours," laughs Filip, whose good mood is not spoiled even by strict epidemiological measures.

"That's how it is; it's the same for everyone. One minute for the test after breakfast won’t ruin my day."

His competitive form is not timed just for the Olympics.

"My goal is to be in the best possible shape throughout the season. It would be stupid to concentrate on just one race. That is my philosophy."

After the giant slalom (on Sunday, 03:45h / 06:45 am), Zubčić will also perform in the slalom in which he's achieved excellent results this season, even better than in the giant slalom, which is his primary discipline.

"I feel great in both disciplines. Everyone knows that this season in the giant slalom, I have not yet made a result that would satisfy me, but I was close to the podium. Unfortunately, I failed; it would be nice to do it on Sunday."

Along with Zubčić, Matej Vidović and Samuel Kolega will ski under the Croatian flag in Beijing. They added briefly:

"The snow is a little strange, this is my first time in Asia, but I am pleasantly surprised. The organization is fine and all in all - the feeling is good. Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to train in giant slalom; we will try and see how I will be in the race, but slalom is a priority, and we are definitely attacking it."

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Monday, 7 February 2022

Croatia's Zrinka Ljutić Debuts at 2022 Winter Olympics, Takes 28th in Giant Slalom

February 7, 2022 - Young skier Zrinka Ljutić was the only Croatia representative in the women's giant slalom race at the Winter Olympics in Beijing on Monday, taking 28th place. 

After Covid measures prevented Croatia's best skier Leona Popović from competing, another more experienced skier, Andrea Komšić, was unlucky with her giant slalom performance. While warming up for the race, she experienced a stiff neck and back pain and did not show up for the start of the race, reports HRT.

Zrinka Ljutić was 36th after the first run, 4.94 seconds behind the Olympic winner, Sweden's Sara Hector. After the second run, she was 28th, 8.08 seconds behind Hector. The silver medal was won by Italian skier Federica Brignone (+0.28), and the bronze by Swiss skier Lara Gut-Behrami (+.0.72).

"I am not satisfied with how I fell behind, and I did not ride well, although I did not have the feeling that I was that far behind. However, the conditions are excellent, and I’m really sorry I didn’t take advantage of that. This is a new experience for me, and I hope to be smarter on another occasion," the 18-year-old Ljutić commented on her Olympic debut in Beijing, adding:

"The first ride was not great, and I didn't have that feeling when I was skiing. I actually felt fine, even though I had a lot of speed, so I was shocked when I reached the finish line. I later realized how much more I needed to let go, look for more speed, and go a lot cleaner and more direct. Then I tried to fix all those things in the second run, and I really threw myself on my head. I’m glad I managed to connect at least a couple of good turns in some places where I didn’t get in the first run. I’m 28th, which doesn’t sound bad. In a couple of years, no one will remember that half of them dropped out. I entered 28th. I learned a lot; a lot of work awaits me."

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Monday, 7 February 2022

Croatia Snowboarder Lea Jugovac Misses Olympic Debut Due to Anti-Covid Measures in Beijing

February 7, 2022 - Croatia snowboarder Lea Jugovac missed her Olympic debut in Beijing on Sunday due to anti-covid measures. The Croatian Olympic Committee has sent an appeal to the Organizing Committee of the Beijing Games.

Sunday did not see any performances by Croatia representatives at the Winter Olympics in Beijing, but there is no lack of excitement in the Croatia camp. In addition to daily testing and training, the day was marked by a protest letter from the Croatian Olympic Committee (COC) to the Organizing Committee of the Beijing Games against the unacceptable ant-covid procedures, which left Croatia snowboarder Lea Jugovac without her Olympic debut.

The contents of the letter were also presented to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It was signed by the heads of the COC Mission at the Beijing Winter Olympics, Damir Šegota and Petra Nosso. Along with the letter, an appendix was sent in the form of a report by the coach of the Croatian snowboarder, Darko Bilen.

The protest letter can be read in its entirety below:

Dear Sirs/Madam,

We are writing this letter to bring your attention to the sad incident that happened yesterday evening and night to our athlete during and after the Opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games.

The clumsy procedure that dictated that athletes have to be tested 24 hours before the Opening ceremony, to ensure that everyone present is uninfected, obviously have been fruitless because the unacceptable procedure that followed prevented our athlete from attending the Opening ceremony, as well as today's competition.

Just before the delegation entered the stadium, she was removed from the parade, which shocked her and the coach. Supposedly she was positive? After re-testing in Beijing, the athlete was returned to the accommodation only at 3 am, and the negative test result came after 4 am, which resulted in the decision not to perform the next day at 10 am.

Due to all the above, we believe that BOCOG should apologize to the athlete who was not only prevented from participating in the Opening ceremony, but also from performing at the Games. The procedures performed by BOCOG were unacceptable, the athlete was mentally struck by it all, the procedure itself and the inhumane conditions in which she found herself last night denied her performance at the Games. A detailed description of the whole incident can be found in the attachment.

Should you require any further clarification, please do not hesitate to contact us.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Saturday, 5 February 2022

Valentina Aščić Makes History: First Croatian Speed Skater Competes at Winter Olympics!

February 5, 2022 - Valentina Aščić was not only the first Croatia representative to compete in Beijing, but she became the first-ever Croatian to compete in speed skating at the Winter Olympics! 

Valentina Aščić is the first Croatia representative to compete at the Winter Olympics in Beijing and the first-ever Croatian to compete in speed skating! 

The 23-year-old Zagreb native fulfilled her dream. Valentina Aščić performed at the Winter Olympics in Beijing, in a discipline where Croatia was represented for the first time in its history. Aščić had her first appearance in the 500 meters race, and in a strong competition, she failed to book a spot in the quarterfinals.

Aščić performed immediately in the first group in respectable company with Florence Brunelle of Canada, Selma Poutsma of the Netherlands, and Tifany Huot Marchand of France.

Aščić finished third in the group with a time of 44,681 after the Frenchwoman fell in the middle of the race and dropped out. The two best from each of the eight groups and four other best third-place finishers went to the quarterfinals. 

Aščić was 23rd out of the 32 speedskaters in today's race. She could have hoped to advance but depended on the result of other skaters. After the sixth group, she was overtaken by four third-placed competitors, leaving the Croatian Olympian without a chance for the quarterfinals. 

"When I went out on the ice, it seemed like a dream, but I managed to recover. I am delighted with the result, so I somehow planned to be around 20th place. I had a great start and was third already at the start, but I was a little disturbed by one girl's fall due to contact, which is in our sport, and then a repeat start. I can go much faster; I just needed a little better preparation because I skated on this ice for the first time," said Aščić after her debut.

The KBK Meteor Zagreb member, currently the only speed skating club in Croatia, is expected to perform in the 1500 meters on February 16. 

Aščić has been training in Belgium since the Zagreb earthquake, with Dutch coach Ingmar van Riel. She had been waiting a long time to go to Beijing. Namely, as she was recently infected with COVID-19, she had to have four negative PCR tests before boarding a plane to China. She arrived just two days before the race.

Source: HOO

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page