Tuesday, 1 February 2022

Famous Croatian Athletes Promote Their Homeland in Dubai

February 1, 2022 - As part of the presentation of Croatia at the world exhibition in Dubai, an interactive event called 'Croatia inspiring Champions' was held with the presence of famous Croatian athletes such as Sandra Perković, Blanka Vlašić, and the Sinković brothers.

In order to promote the Republic of Croatia as a country of sports and a small country of great world success, this event was attended by famous Croatian athletes and medal winners at major world competitions, such as rowers Martin and Valent Sinković, athletes Sandra Perković and Blanka Vlašić, handball player Mirza Džomba, football player Stipe Pletikosa, and basketball player Gordan Giriček, reports tportal.hr.

Athletes opened the EXPO Sustainability portal and participated in a number of outdoor sports challenges together with visitors at the Sport, Fitness & Wellbeing Hub location.

''I am honored by the invitation and it is a great honor for me as a professional athlete to represent ''Our Beautiful'' at the EXPO 2020 Dubai. This is a great opportunity to show the world who we are and that we Croats are born winners, not only in sports but also in other jobs we do. There are sports legends here, but Croatia has many of them. Also, I would like to wish good luck to our Olympians who will defend the Croatian colors at the Winter Olympics'', said Sandra Perković, two-time Olympic, two-time world, and five-time European discus throw champion.

It was a fantastic socializing event with champions and sports legends attended by guests from all over the world who, regardless of their age, tried their best at sports activities with our celebrated athletes and brought home unforgettable memories in addition to the official T-shirts of the event.

''I feel special when I represent my country at such a big event, especially because I am an active athlete. Fortunately, we are currently out of competition, so we managed to come to Dubai and present Croatia to everyone as the best country in the world. We all know that it is, and now all those who were here were able to share it'', said Martin Sinković.

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

Sunday, 3 October 2021

Celebrated High Jumper Blanka Vlašić Elected to EOC Athletes' Commission

October 3, 2021 - Celebrated Croatian athlete Blanka Vlašić has been elected to the EOC Athletes' Commission (European Olympic Committee) for the next four years.

It is the epilogue of the 6th General Assembly of European Athletes, held on Saturday at the Dubrovnik Palace Hotel. Estonian athlete Gerd Kanter, the owner of Olympic gold (2008) and bronze (2012) in the discus throw, remained the president of the Commission for another term, reports HRT.

More than 70 athletes and representatives of the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) arrived in Dubrovnik over the weekend, and some of them followed the event online.

As part of the 6th General Assembly of European Athletes, eight members of the EOC Athletes' Commission were elected from 17 candidates. Apart from Blanka Vlašić, celebrated water polo representative Maro Joković also represented Croatia at the assembly session.

The Assembly was opened by the President of the Croatian Olympic Committee (COC), Zlatko Mateša, in the role of host, and those present were greeted on behalf of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports of the Republic of Croatia by Special Sports Advisor Josip Pavić.

With gratitude to "beautiful Dubrovnik" for the hospitality, EOO President Spyros Capralos expressed his delight at the athletes' interest in membership in the sports committee of the continental association of national Olympic committees.

The assembly was also attended by the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes' Commission, Emma Terho, a Finnish hockey player with two Olympic medals in the trophy collection (bronze medals from 1998 and 2010), and was accompanied by a member of the same IOC commission, the legendary Russian Jelena Isinbayeva (Olympic pole vault gold in 2004 and 2008 and bronze in 2012).

In addition to the report on the work of the Commission in the previous term (2017-2021), the agenda also included a report on the Tokyo Olympic Games, which was an opportunity for athletes to share experiences and interesting views on the recent Games in very specific circumstances.

After the election process, Blanka Vlašić was very pleased with the outcome.

"This is a good start and the right place if I want to be a part of positive changes in sports, which is my wish since I finished my active sports career. This is a great step forward for us, for Croatian sport, and for women's sport in general. It is a completely new experience in relation to the competitive part of my career, incomparable with the high jump. These are some different waters and I will learn to swim in those waters. It’s a lot more relaxed when it comes to socializing, sharing experiences, because we’re all former athletes. The commission is diverse and it is not important that we all think the same, but that we all want the best for our sport. I see that everyone is ambitious and I believe that we will have a successful mandate," said Vlašić.

In the new EOC Athletes Commission for the 2021-2025 term, there are six representatives from summer and two from winter sports (plus two members to be subsequently appointed by the EOC Executive Board in agreement with the President of the Commission). After the Dubrovnik Assembly, the composition of the Commission is as follows: Gerd Kanter (athletics / Estonia) - President, Jonathan Guerriero (skating / Russia) - Vice President, Blanka Vlašić (athletics / Croatia), Viktor Knoch (short track skating / Hungary), Alexandra Longova (archery / Slovakia), Pavlos Kagialis (sailing / Greece), Gwladys Epangue (taekwondo / France) and Alistair Brownlee (triathlon / United Kingdom).

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

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Tuesday, 10 March 2020

High Jumper Blanka Vlasic Pulls Out of Tokyo Olympics

March 10, 2020 - Blanka Vlasic, one of the greatest Croatian female athletes of all time, will not compete at the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

Jutarnji List reports that the Split athlete and her expert staff informed the Croatian Olympic Committee that Blanka would not fight for her third Olympic medal in Japan and that she would be removed from the list of Olympic candidates. Recall, Vlasic won the silver medal in 2008 in Beijing and the bronze in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.

The two-time world champion (2007 Osaka and 2009 Berlin) in the high jump and the second-best of all time with a jump of 208 centimeters (one centimeter less than the 1987 world record of Stefka Kostadinova) has not jumped since the high jump finals at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Her years of struggles with injuries did not allow her to jump at a stable level continually, so even though she is improving and getting better, she is still not ready to return to competition.

“Blanka's condition is much better,” said her father and coach Josko Vlasic. 

“The bone is no longer inflamed, the Achilles tendon is not yet well, but her general condition is fine and she is training. We estimate that continuous jumps over two meters are not a reality at this time. She will continue her career anyway, but now she does not want to sell her reputation and does not want to jump below two meters. We sent a letter to the Croatian Olympic Committee so that they could act on it.”

This will be the second Olympic Games Vlasic will miss (she also missed London 2012) since she made her debut in Sydney in 2000. Of course, this news is not unexpected given that she has not been able to recover 100% over the past three years and could not fully commit to the high jump. It is miraculous, however, that she does not consider leaving athletics after her continuous injuries, which have followed her from a very early stage in her career. Not to mention that problems with her Achilles tendon started the moment she was at the height of her career. In 2010, Vlasic was selected as the world's best athlete at a gala ceremony in Monte Carlo.

A year earlier, she defended the world title in Berlin and flew over 208 centimeters at the Hanzekovic rally in Zagreb. That year, when she was selected as the world's best female athlete, she won the only European outdoor title in Barcelona. Her dominance did not end there. However, unfortunately, in 2011, the agony with her Achilles tendon resulted in less frequent appearances.

That year, she managed to win silver after jumping 203-centimeters at the World Cup in Daegu, losing gold to Maria Kuchina (later Lasickene) due to multiple attempts. In January 2012, she had surgery on her Achilles tendon, but an infection occurred, and three months later, she had to go under the knife again. She had to miss the London Games and it was certainly not psychologically easy to bear. Her memory of the silver medal from Beijing was still fresh. Recall, Tia Hellebaut sensationally jumped 205 centimeters, just like Blanka, but the Belgian celebrated for fewer attempts.

Since then, it has more or less been a constant battle with her Achilles tendon. When she healed the one on her left leg, the problem moved to the right. Even so, Blanka still prepared for competitions and even won silver in Beijing at the 2015 World Cup and the bronze in Rio de Janeiro. In Brazil, three female athletes jumped 197 centimeters, and as it goes with the number of tries is counted, she won the bronze. The gold went to Ruth Beitia, and Mirela Demirov took the silver. It is also worth pointing out that at the Athens Games, Blanka experienced problems with her thyroid, which she later resolved with surgery.

It remains to be seen when she will return, because Blanka is not yet ready to say goodbye. At least at 36 years old, we have no doubt that Blanka will go out in style.

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

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Meet the Sports Stars of Split: Blanka Vlašić

Continuing our series looking at the sports stars of Split, today we meet World Champion high-jumper Blanka Vlašić.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Blanka Vlašić Reaches Bronze Medal Height in High Jump

All the heights she cleared in her second attempts (188, 193 and 197 cm), while it was apparent she was struggling with an injury

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Last Day Of Croatian Participation At The Olympics

The Croatian water polo team and Blanka Vlašić are only Croatian athletes left in the competition

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Blanka Vlašić to Skip World Indoor Championships in Athletics

Blanka Vlašić pulls out of World Indoor Championships.

Friday, 29 January 2016

International Indoor High Jump Competition Returns to Split

After 5 years, world's best high jumpers return to Croatia

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Blanka Vlašić Wins Silver at the World Championships

A great return to competitive action for a Croatian champion in Beijing. 

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Blanka Vlašić: Can't Wait to Return to the Bird's Nest

Former world champion returning after long recovery