Sunday, 19 June 2022

Ana Đerek Wins Two More Medals at Gymnastics World Cup

June 19, 2022 - Croatian gymnast Ana Đerek won two new medals at the World Cup tournament. After Varna (gold on the beam and bronze on the ground) and Osijek (silver on the beam and ground), she climbed the podium in Koper twice on Sunday.

She gilded the ground floor and won silver on the beam, continuing an incredible series, the third SK in a row this season to win two medals each, reports 24sata. Or even better, she is thrilled for the fourth weekend in a row, since she had the Croatian Championship between Varna and Osijek, where she won gold twice.

The Olympian of the GK Marjan from Split opened the "vintage" in Slovenia with 2nd place on the beam with a score of 13,250. Only Hungarian Zsofia Kovacz (13,650) was better, while her compatriot Greta Mayer (12,450) was bronze. The second Croatian finalist on the beam today, Tina Zelčić (ZTD Hrvatski sokol) remained one step closer to the podium, she is fourth with 11,700 points in her third SK final in her career.

Ana Đerek's silver on the beam was the 18th medal in the World Cup tournaments, but only a few moments later she reached the 19th in her 33rd final thanks to gold on the ground floor.

She won it with a score of 12,900, and stood on the podium with silver medalist Poppy-Grace Stickler (12,750) and bronze medalist Greta Mayer (12,650). This is Ani's second gold this season after the one on the beam in Varna, but also the fifth in her career at SK.

''Three World Cups in a row, six medals, today gold and silver, I really couldn't be happier'', said Ana.

''Things happened this time on my own, considering that I made a small mistake at the beginning of the exercise on the ground floor where I think I thought that I had dropped out of the fight for gold, but in the end, things turned out so well that even with that one mistake I won gold'', she added.

The Croatian national team is now turning to the Mediterranean Games, and Tin Srbić, Jakov Vlahek, Mateo Žugec, Ana Đerek, and Tijana Korent, their coaches Lucijan Krce and Miroslav Končarević, and judges Dunja Lederer and Ratko Vuković will travel to Algeria on Wednesday.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated sports section

Saturday, 28 May 2022

Sandra Perković in 2nd Place of Diamond League Second Round

May 28, 2022 - Two-time Olympic winner and Croatian discus throw record holder Sandra Perković took second place behind American Valerie Allman at the Diamond League rally in Eugene last night.

The American discus thrower Valerie Allman celebrated with a result of 68.35, which is lower than her best result (71.46 m), and Perković was second with 65.50 m, a result she achieved on the third attempt. She threw 64.84m in the second, 64.68m in the fourth, and 65.30m in the fifth, reports This attempt by Sandra Perković is slightly weaker than her best result of the season she had at the rally in Birmingham on May 21 (67.26 m), where she also finished second behind Allman.

As bad weather is expected on Saturday, organizers have shifted some events to Friday night: the men’s pole vault, women’s high jump, and women’s discus throw.

In third place was German Kristin Pudenz third with 62.58 m.

It is Sandra Perković's third performance this season after performing in Split in March and May. She opened the season with 64.47 meters and then threw 66.16 meters at the Easter International Rally held on May 1.

''The preparations went well, I am happy to be healthy. We managed to repair the Achilles tendon which was my biggest sore last season. We worked hard, maybe I'm a little tired. This year we will have the World Championships in Eugene and the European Championships in Munich. We focused and based on that part of the season, however, I am not coming unprepared for the first rally of the Diamond League in Birmingham'', said the two-time Olympic, two-time world, and five-time European champion on May 18th before the start of the Diamond League in Birmingham.

Interestingly, for the first time in her career, Perković has been working in Zagreb ahead of the tournaments.

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

Thursday, 3 February 2022

Exposure of Female Athletes in Croatian Media: Can We Do More?

February 3, 2022 - Croatia has had unbelievable success in multiple sports since independence, regardless of funding, the size of the country, and various other factors. Football comes to mind, handball, water polo, and many more. However, some of the biggest success Croatia has ever had was achieved by female athletes. Why do we hear so little about them and can we do more? A look at the exposure of female athletes in Croatian media.

The number 4. It symbolizes a lot of things in the world: Marvel comic book heroes Fantastic Four, four sides of the world, Croatian band Four Aces (4 Asa), four medals Janica Kostelić won in the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City in 2002 and so much more. However, besides this last great achievement number four represents for Croatian sports history, it also displays an abysmal percentage of media coverage of female sports in Croatian media. A

According to the analysis “Equality Between Men and Women in Sports Programs of Audiovisual Media”, conducted by Electronic Media Agency in 2019, across the three major TV stations (HTV, RTL, NOVA TV), the majority of media coverage (during sports news) is spent on men’s football, and men’s sport, in general, takes over 80 percent of the informative sports news. It dominates on commercial TV stations like RTL and NOVA TV. This sample is taken over three months in 2016, where they analyzed over two and a half hours of news footage. The agency also included other factors like female athlete speeches during informative sport news, which amounted to around six percent. After football, the most represented sports are basketball and tennis. Although in modest proportion, news about female athletes and their successes is still present. Television reports and articles that are dedicated to “unrepresented” sports like gymnastics, alpine skiing, archery, and athletics, have female athletes, however, they are always reported with men.

The only time female athletes are covered in the media is when the “miracle run” happens; e.g., Croatia women's handball team winning the bronze medal at Euros in 2020, or a Croatian female athlete becomes an internet sensation because of her beauty e.g., Antonija Mišura in the London Olympics in 2012.

The Electronic Media Agency also forwarded a survey with two main questions to sport federations and media representatives: “Do you think that women's sport in Croatia is sufficiently represented in the informative program of Croatian electronic media” and “What should happen or improve to make women's sport more represented in electronic media? Where do you see the problem and the possibility for improvement?”.

In conclusion, all sport federations agree on a few things. The amount of women’s sports content on their official social media and websites is almost equal to men’s but the media is not trying enough to do the same. Oversexualizing news about female athletes is, unfortunately, a common thing - emphasis on the looks, the way they dress, who are their partners, and more. Furthermore, no television coverage, e.g. Croatia women’s handball team didn’t have TV coverage for most Croatian viewers during their incredible run at European Championship in 2020, until they reached the semifinals of the tournament. Most of the women’s sports games are aired during night as replays, which is still not good enough. In their response to the survey, they also emphasized the effort they are putting in making women’s sports more popular in Croatia and sent a message to the media to start covering female athletes in an appropriate manner.

On the other hand, media representatives agree with sports federation pleas but also express their obstacles in doing proper media coverage for women’s sports. Particularly, the market trends in the media sphere. They have statistics and parameters that show distinctly more hits and clicks on articles about men’s sports, in this case, football. Also, the situation in other countries is not better - there are struggles as well in reporting women’s sports news. In the end, media representatives still feel like they could do a lot more in informing the Croatian public about successes their female athletes achieve and hope, with the support of other institutions and Croatians will, that the future is bright for reporting about women in sports.

How can we, as the media, make sports events and news more diverse, interesting, and appealing for everyone? How can we expand the interests of Croatians to female sports as well? Again, the question from the beginning of the article is - can we do more? Yes, but we cannot do it alone. It is well known that Croatia has incomparably fewer money investments in sports than other countries in Europe and if it isn’t for our amazing athletes' will and passion, we would not be where we are now. Croatia still doesn’t have appropriate marketing campaigns for women's sports nor regulations which would encourage more media coverage.

Nevertheless, journalists and media also need to do better. Oversexualizing every aspect of female athletes and bigotry through Croatian media probably won’t go anywhere soon but with future regulations and by joint efforts with other sports and governing institutions, the media atmosphere will be much more favorable for female athletes.

If we can celebrate them when they are on top of the world, we can at least give them a platform to show them that there are people who care and support them regardless they are best or not. These surveys studies showed that every representative in Croatian sports media and sports itself know about the issue. The talk is in progress and slowly but surely the act is in motion. We can start here.

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

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

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.

Thursday, 30 December 2021

Croatian Athletes Win 189 Medals

ZAGREB, 30 Dec 2021 - Croatian athletes in 2021 won a total of 189 medals in all age categories at major international competitions, including 60 gold, 49 silver, and 80 bronze medals, according to statistical indicators of the Croatian Olympic Committee (HOO).

In the elite senior competition, Croatian athletes won 127 medals, including 42 gold, 33 silver, and 52 bronze medals, while junior athletes clinched 52 (14+15+23) and cadets 10 medals (4+1+5).

In addition to eight Olympic medals from Tokyo (three gold, three silver, and two bronze medals), senior athletes won 38 medals (12+10+16) at world championships, 31 medals (10+7+14) at the European championships, and 46 medals (16+13+17) at competitions for the World Cup.

Three team bronzes were won at world championships, while Croatian tennis players clinched a silver at the Davis Cup.

Junior athletes achieved the best result at world championships -- 24 medals (9+8+7), at European championships they got 21 medals (4+4+13) and at world cups seven (1+3+3).

Cadets clinched five medals (1+0+4) at European championships, four medals (2+1+1) at world cups, and one gold at world championships.

Also, our athletes were ranked 4th to 8th 216 times, which for many sports means they qualified for the finals.

The president of the Croatian Olympic Committee, Zlatko Mateša, thanked Croatian athletes for their excellent results in the pandemic 2021, which required sacrifice, great patience, and additional preparation, and he wished them good health and much better circumstances for sports competitions in the second consecutive Olympic year.

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

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

5-7 Olympic Medals Expected for Croatia in Tokyo, Says Siniša Krajač

July 20, 2021 - Croatian Olympic Committee Secretary-General Siniša Krajač revealed the main challenges that the COC and he personally will face in his current term as the first operative of the umbrella sports association and what we can expect from Croatia in Tokyo this summer. 

In an interview with Sportske Novosti, Siniša Krajač revealed to editor-in-chief Robert Šola that demography is a burning national problem and a potentially big problem for the future of Croatian sport because "the base from which we draw sports talents is getting smaller." In this context, he also mentioned the importance of constant investment in sports, especially in sports at the local level, "where it all starts," that is - where future top athletes come to us to a large extent. He spoke with a lot of passion about team sports and pointed out that Croatia is a sports nation with great achievements in individual sports.

The Olympic Games (July 23 - August 8) are an indispensable topic when Croatian athletes are heading to Tokyo every day. With a strong desire for all our representatives to stay healthy during the Games, the Secretary-General estimated the number of Olympic medals in Tokyo, which ranges from five to seven medals. Siniša Krajač is very optimistic about Tokyo, although a slightly smaller number of athletes will represent Croatia.

"We are going for 5 to 7 medals: Alarms are set in sports, but the situation is not tragic, in a small base of the sports active population we have no right to drop a single talented child," writes Robert Šola, editor-in-chief of SN.

Most of the Croatian athletes are already in Tokyo, and the rest will follow them very soon. 

"A positive case on a plane can mean goodbye to an athlete and everything they have worked and prepared for years to be at the peak of their career in Tokyo. But, unfortunately, that cannot be changed; Japan has their own approach to everything that has to do with COVID," says Siniša Krajač, who has acted as Secretary-General Secretary of the Croatian Olympic Committee for two months now.

Croatia will have the smallest number of athletes at the Games since Barcelona. Should we be worried?

"As I emphasized in my first interviews after I became Secretary-General, we need to worry about the fact that our sport is in decline and that there is a real danger that this decline will take a more vertical direction than we have today. Not because we are not doing well, or because we do not care about sports, but also because we have an obvious shortage of coaches and young people who play sports. We must all be aware that only about 400,000 young people between the ages of 12 and 19 live in the country at the moment. It is a minimal base, and we have to draw future Olympic winners, medalists, and participants. In such a small base, we have almost no right to drop a single talented child, which means that we must provide our children with optimal conditions for playing sports. Of course, as a state, we must work on the demographics of society because the trend is by no means good."

Unfortunately, Croatia has dealt with demography issues for years, but taking care of sports is not even close to good. Only 59 athletes at the Games also bring a lot of concern?

"The handball players were a second or two away from the Games; if they were in Tokyo, the numbers would already be similar to those in Rio. And we will agree that handball players have a place at the Games. I am also sorry for the basketball players; we constantly hope that basketball will rise and return to where it belongs. But I am aware of the problems we have in sports; I would say that the alarm is already burning and that there is no tragedy. And this number of athletes in Tokyo is respectable and has a high quality."

How can the COC help address such issues?

"We are specific in ourselves because we have an extensive range of activities. Top sport, local sport and recreation, are our three core activities. Athletes, however, are created at the local level, it is clear to everyone in the sport. And we, as the COC, have long been aware of this. I would say that the state is aware of that as well. The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has increased allocations for local sports. Both the state and the COC encourage local communities to invest more in sports; we are working on that synergy without which there can be no results. We work to the maximum to bring back to local communities sports that were specific in their environment, in which they had top results. Times are changing, but this tradition in local communities is still strong, and I am convinced that a lot can be done and returned to the old, and even for the better."

Siniša Krajač talked about team sports with a lot of passion, but also turned to individual sports.

"I would by no means put individual sports in second; we have risen strongly in them, laid a healthy foundation, they bring us medals, but also children who enjoy doing these sports. Judo has a great run, karate, and taekwondo too, and there are plenty more good examples."

Unfortunately, some claim that investing in sports is a waste of money?

"Investing in sports cannot be a waste of money; it can only be a great investment. Sport certainly contributes far more to society and the common good than we invest in it. This can be proven through many parameters. We are evidently falling for several health issues. We have an excessive percentage of obese and inactive children, which is probably the most dangerous and saddest thing for any nation and its health. We don’t have enough physical activities in schools; some don’t even have gyms. And it’s something that can’t be resolved overnight, but it has to start to be addressed. And that systematically. Let's invest in sports because there is no greater investment in health. We as a state must understand that. Sport also brings numerous economic privileges. With the matches come athletes, spectators, foreign clubs come to the preparations ... Not to repeat that athletes are our greatest ambassadors in the world, and we know they are."

How many medals are expected at the Games?

"Five to seven. I wouldn’t want to name what those medals are; I don’t want to pressure anyone. In Tokyo, the conditions for athletes will be truly extraordinary, far different from those they are used to. Such conditions will require quick adaptation, and our athletes are such that they do their best in the most difficult moments, to surprise when it is least expected. We have a talent for adaptation, I would say perhaps the best in the world because we are such a nation. After all, we are masters of improvisation. Our athletes know what awaits them. The Americans waited at the airport for six hours upon arrival to be released. On the other hand, ours did not sleep for 40 hours, except for a little on the plane. And when you land, there are problems, waiting, testing, uncertainty, completed or unfilled applications." 

And at the end of it all, no fans?
"Sport is also played for the sake of spectators, but health should be a priority at this moment. The games always have a special atmosphere in the village, in the host city, in the indescribable atmosphere that reigns in the halls and stadiums. Unfortunately, now that is not the case ... But the Games will be held; sports will not be surrendered."

You can read the full interview HERE

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To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Wednesday, 7 July 2021

8,000 million HRK Allocated for Croatian Promotion through International Sports Events, Croatian Athletes

July 7, 2021 - HRK 8 million has been allocated for Croatian promotion through international sports events and Croatian athletes. 

Members of the Croatian National Tourist Board at the 79th online session adopted a Decision on selecting partners and approving funds for marketing cooperation with organizers of international sports events and top Croatian athletes in 2021. HRK 8 million gross has been approved for the implementation of mentioned collaborations with selected partners. The session was chaired by the Minister of Tourism and Sports and the President of the Croatian Tourist Board Nikolina Brnjac in the presence of the Croatian Tourist Board director Kristjan Staničić, reports HRTurizam

As director Staničić pointed out, out of the total of 8 million, the amount of 4.3 million was approved for cooperation with top Croatian athletes and national sports federations, while 3.7 million was approved for marketing cooperation with organizers of international sports events.

"In addition to maintaining a high level of security, which in these circumstances is a basic prerequisite for the realization of tourist traffic, a very important part in creating content in destinations is having quality and attractive events. To this end, funds will be allocated for marketing cooperation with organizers of sports events that bring a large number of competitors and audiences to Croatia, as well as Croatian athletes and sports federations whose successes and performances around the world significantly contribute to the promotion and visibility of Croatia as a tourist country," said director Staničić.

Thus, in the category of athletes and sports federations, cooperation was approved with the Croatia water polo team, volleyball team, judo team, brothers Martin and Valent Sinković, brothers Šime and Mihovil Fantela, Sandra Perković, Tonči Stipanović, Dino Levačić, and others, while in the category of organizers of international sports events, the cooperation was approved for ATP Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag, CRO Race, Pannonian Challenge, WACT Zagreb 2021, Hanžeković Memorial, and Ivan Ivančić Memorial.

“With this Decision, we approved 18 collaborations in the category of organizers of sports events and 12 in the category of top athletes and sports federations. By providing support to sports events, athletes, and sports federations, we emphasize their value for the promotion of the Republic of Croatia. Apart from the sporting significance, all these events contribute to the quality and diversity of the tourist offer, while the successes of our athletes are an additional invitation to come to our country. I call on all event organizers to take maximum responsibility and respect for epidemiological measures because a good epidemiological situation is a key to the further interest of guests and the success of the tourist season," said Minister Brnjac.

Members of the council also adopted the decision to extend applications in the category of TOP events of the Call for expressions of interest for marketing cooperation with the organizers of TOP events in 2021, which will be open from July 7 to 21, 2021.

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Thursday, 8 April 2021

Croatia at Olympic Games: Only 40 Croatian Athletes Qualified for Tokyo So Far

April 8, 2021 - Only 40 Croatian athletes qualified for Tokyo so far. A look at Croatia at the Olympic Games this summer. reports that there are only three months left until the start of the Olympic Games in Japan. From July 23 to August 8, Tokyo will be the world’s sports center and host today’s best athletes in various sports.

Croatia participated in its first Games back in 1992 and participated in seven Olympic competitions, winning 33 medals total - 11 gold medals, 10 silver medals, and 12 bronze.

According to the number of qualified athletes, it is clear that Croatian sport is in crisis. To date, a total of only 40 Croatian athletes have qualified for Tokyo. 10-15 more are expected from individual sports (boxing, wrestling, karate, judo, tennis, cycling). The basketball team, which plays its qualifiers in June, faces a challenging task because they may play without their biggest stars - Bogdanović, Šarić, and Zubac.

In the best-case scenario, Croatia can see 65 athletes in Japan, which is the lowest number in the last 30 years. Croatia only had less in Barcelona in 1992 (41 athletes in 12 sports). Given the war period, this figure is not surprising. 

Croatia at the Olympic Games

Barcelona 1992 - 41 athletes - 12 sports (three medals)
Atlanta 1996 - 85 athletes - 14 sports (two medals)
Sydney 2000 - 91 athletes - 12 sports (two medals)
Athens 2004 - 81 athletes - 14 sports (five medals)
Beijing 2008 - 101 athletes - 15 sports (five medals)
London 2012 - 107 athletes - 18 sports (six medals)
Rio de Janeiro 2016 - 88 athletes - 18 sports (ten medals)

Tokyo 2021 - In the best case scenario, 65 athletes, and how many medals?
Croatian athletes will not be expected to break the record from Rio and the ten medals won that summer.

Favorites for medals?
The shortlist of favorites for medals at this year's Games includes Sandra Perković, Sinković brothers, Tin Srbić, Croatia water polo, Tonči Stipanović, Šime, and Mihovil Fantela, Josip Glasnović, Damir Martin, and Mektić-Pavić (tennis players are not yet on the list of qualified athletes).

Croatian athletes qualified for Tokyo:
ATHLETICS (Sandra Perković, Sara Kolak, Filip Mihaljević, Bojana Bjeljac, Matea Parlov Koštro)
GYMNASTICS (Tin Srbić, Ana Đerek)
WRESTLING (Božo Starčević)
SAILING (Tonči Stipanović, Šime and Mihovil Fantela, Elena Vorobeva)
KAYAK / CANOE (Matija Marinić)
SWIMMING (Franko Grgić, Marin Mogić)
TABLE TENNIS (Tomislav Pucar, Andrej Gacina, Frane Tomislav Kojic)
SHOOTING (Josip Glasnović, Snježana Pejčić, Petar Gorša, Miran Maričić)
TAEKWONDO (Kristina Tomic, Matea Jelic, Toni Kanaet)
WATER POLO - 12 athletes
ROWING (Damir Martin, Valent, and Martin Sinković)

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Friday, 24 April 2020

Croatian Athletes, Teams Return to Training Under Special Conditions

April 24, 2020 - Croatian athletes of the first two individual categories and the senior teams competing in the highest rank can start training again from Monday, April 27.

24 Sata writes that Croatian athletes and clubs have finally received the go-ahead from the Croatian Government that their sporting activities can begin again.

Croatian athletes of the first two individual categories and senior teams competing in the highest rank can start training again from April 27, concluded Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic after the session of the Croatian Government on Thursday.

Thus, on Monday, the top football teams in the country could start preparations for the season to continue. As the first calendar option failed, two more calendar options remain. One is to start the championship on May 30, while the other is to continue the championship on June 13.

Croatian champion Dinamo welcomed the news, though little is known about the club's plan for training. It is only certain that there will be some activities on Monday (April 27) at Maksimir. The club is still awaiting a letter of all measures (or its publication on the official site), so the players and new staff will act in accordance with these provisions.

The situation will involve discussions with doctors and epidemiologists, as Dinamo does not know whether they will train in smaller or larger groups and maybe work individually. 

New coach Igor Jovicevic will start his adventure on the Dinamo bench in odd conditions, and the schedule and manner of training will depend on the instructions of the Government, doctors, and epidemiologists. In any case, everything will be much clearer by Monday.

On the other hand, Hajduk has been in good shape for a week already. The first-team players have been individually training at Poljud, each in their own term, with tasks assigned to them by the fitness trainers. As the situation with the virus stabilized, Hajduk was granted permission to train with multiple players in one group. So, as of Friday, Hajduk will train in a group of four players with coach Igor Tudor.

The four-member groups will alternate throughout the day at Poljud, but still with all the measures prescribed by the Civil Protection Headquarters. Players will always train in the same groups. The whole team could train together only once the coronavirus is fully under control.

Rijeka has been training at Rujevica for several days. The training is organized in several groups, followed from the stands by trainer Simon Rozman who returned from Slovenia several days ago and has to quarantine. The club, therefore, provided him and his assistant with accommodation in President Mišković's office.

This news has undoubtedly pleased Croatian athletes, including the Sinkovic brothers and the best Croatian gymnast Tin Srbic. Martin and Valent had been rowing on the ergometer on their balconies for more than five weeks, awaiting permission to train. While the citizens of Zagreb were walking around Jarun in peace, the Civil Protection Headquarters did not allow the Sinkovic brothers to train. 

"We'll switch to Jarun now. I can't wait to get in the boat. We haven't rowed for five weeks, so we'll have to get a feel for the pairs," said Martin Sinkovic, and Valent added:

"It feels like I haven't rowed for a year. I’m waiting for Monday to get into a normal training rhythm. A few days ago, we received the news that we would have the European Championship, and now we will be able to prepare."

Gymnast Tin Srbic has been improvising and maintaining form for weeks, but from Monday, he can finally go back to his favorite place - the gym! 

"I am glad that the decision was made and that we will be able to train normally. To me, the gym is everything, so I hope there will be new competitions at the end of the year to represent your country," Srbic told RTL.

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


Friday, 20 March 2020

Croatian Athletes in Corona Crisis: Olympics on Schedule, Nowhere to Train

March 20, 2020 - With each passing day, Croatian athletes are one step closer to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, though the coronavirus crisis isn’t doing them any favors.

After it was announced that the Tokyo Olympics would remain on schedule for July 24 to August 9, madness ensued for athletes who had yet to qualify for the Games, reports

Many qualifying tournaments have been canceled, and the situation is even worse because they have been banned from practicing at their fields, pools, and gyms. 

There is no doubt that swimmers are particularly affected by these bans.

"We have the most problems with training, since all facilities are closed,” said Croatia swim team coach Lovrenco Franicevic.

For now, the games have been secured by the Split stars Franko Grgić and Marin Mogić. But many Croatian athletes are in trouble.

“With this Decision I can’t train, but there can be a solution. It is not many of us that need to be able to train, only around a hundred people," said President of the Croatian Athletic Association Ivan Vestic.

On the other hand, instructions were issued to close sports fields, sports halls, and gyms. Croatian athletics have four representatives so far, and several that are very close to qualifying. 

The Croatian Karate Federation celebrates 50 years. Ivan Kvesic sent them the best congratulations by qualifying for the Olympic Games. Karate will make its debut at the Summer Olympics in 2020, which resulted in earlier qualifications. 

Concerning basketball, Croatia is hunting for a spot at the Games, which they’ll need to win at a qualifying tournament to be held in Split at the end of June.

"I don't know, I think it's going to be difficult to play in that qualifying term because we don't know what the NBA is going to say. Because if the NBA league is going to play the full format after the break, then we're going to be without NBA players," said the Croatian Basketball Federation president Stojko Vranković.

The Croatia basketball team will only go to the Games if they win this tournament, which the government has allocated over 20 million kuna for so far. 

"The money that the Croatian government paid, if the tournament does not take place, we have to get back. So that we are not in a situation where the tournament is canceled on May 15 or June 1 and we have already paid 80, 90 percent of the funds," concludes Vranković.

The following days are uncertain for Croatian Olympians and those who dream of becoming one. Given the current circumstances, we can hardly expect much.

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

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