Sunday, 8 August 2021

Croatia Water Polo Finishes Tokyo Olympics in 5th Place

August 8, 2021 - Croatia water polo finished 5th at the Olympic Games in Tokyo after beating the USA 14-11 (2-3, 4-2, 4-2, 4-4) on the last day of the Games.

The "Barracudas" concluded the Olympic tournament with a victory where they broke the USA in the second and third quarters.

Luka Bukić was the most efficient for Croatia with three goals, Xavi Garcia, Ante Vukićević, Maro Joković, and Luka Lončar scored two goals each, and Paulo Obradović, Lovre Miloš, and Marko Macan scored one goal each.

Croatia recorded six wins and two defeats in Tokyo. 

"It is difficult for me at this moment to give an overview of the whole tournament, we recorded six wins and two defeats. That defeat in the quarterfinal against Hungary was painful. Certainly, we are not happy with this, we would have signed before the start to win second place in the group, but no one expected Hungary in the quarterfinal. The draw wanted it that way. The last three or four days here have been really hard and painful for me and the players. But at least we finished the tournament with dignity, as athletes," said the coach Ivica Tucak in his concluding remarks.

The Croatian flag will be carried by the captain of the water polo team, Andro Bušlje, at the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, on Sunday, August 8 (from noon Croatia time).

Since none of the medal winners stayed until the end of the Tokyo Games, due to the rules for athletes to leave the Olympic venue within 48 hours after the end of the competition, only the Croatia water polo team was left on the last day of the Games.

According to the head of the Croatian delegation in Tokyo, Damir Šegota, the individual choice of the flag bearer was left to the players and the professional staff of the water polo team, and they decided that it would be the long-time captain Andro Bušlje.

Andro is extremely honored and pleased with this choice and thanked his teammates and members of the professional staff to be the Croatian flag bearer at the closing of the Tokyo Games.

Source: HRT

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Thursday, 8 August 2019

On this Day: Croatia and USA Basketball 'Dream Team' Meet at '92 Olympics

August 8, 2019 - On this day in 1992, Croatia met the USA 'Dream Team' in the gold medal game of the Olympic in Barcelona. 

There are a handful of games that, some justified, some farfetched, have been declared historic in Croatian sport for more than a quarter of a century. One game which has no debate was the one for the gold medal at the 1992 Olympics when Croatia and the United States met in the final round. It happened on this day, August 8, in the hall of the Palau Municipal d'Esports de Badalona, reports on August 8, 2018.

On the one hand, the American ‘Dream Team’, without any dilemma, presented the best basketball team of all time, led by Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, John Stockton, Scottie Pippen, Chris Mullin, Karl Malone, Clyde Drexler and Christian Laettner. 

And on the other, Croatia featured Dražen Petrović, Toni Kukoć, Dino Rađa, Velimir Perasović, Danko Cvjetičanin, Vladan Alanović, Žan Tabak, Stojko Vranković, Alan Gregov, Petar Muslim, Arijan Komazec and Aramis Naglić, led by coach Petar Skansi. 

At a time when the Croatian Homeland War was in progress and much of the country was under occupation, Croatian athletes were its best ambassadors. Recall, Goran Ivanišević had just won the first Croatian Olympic medal at the '92 Games (bronze in the singles competition and bronze in the doubles with Goran Prpić), which helped to put Croatia on the map. Thus, Croatia’s final match against the USA would be watched by the whole world.

Jordan, Magic & Co. were ruthless throughout the entire tournament, not allowing any national team to lead against them at any point. The pattern was always the same - the USA would rip through you like a hurricane from the beginning, creating an unreachable difference. Then, in the second half, the best would sit on the bench so that the minutes would be distributed to the other players. 

However, a fearless Croatia achieved what otherwise seemed unimaginable - and in the middle of the first half, Croatia took the lead! Kukoč gave the ball to Franjo Arapović, who scored for the 25:24 Croatia lead. 

Croatia lost the gold medal game 85:117, though it was a moment that will forever remain recorded in the almanacs of Croatian basketball. If for nothing else, then as a reminder of the level Croatian basketball used to be.

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Wednesday, 17 October 2018

On this Day in 1990, Croatia Played First Official Game Against USA

The spectacle drew over 30,000 fans to Maksimir stadium in Zagreb.