Thursday, 15 July 2021

Matija Marinić Released from Self-Isolation in Tokyo, Back to Olympic Training

July 15, 2021 - The best Croatian wild water canoeist, Matija Marinić, returned to the track where he is preparing to compete at the Olympic Games in Tokyo after two days of self-isolation.

Due to possible contact with a coronavirus-infected passenger on the flight to Japan, Marinić and his coach Stjepan Perestegi were initially prescribed self-isolation for a week, however, after their appeals and with the support of the President of the Croatian Olympic Committee Zlatko Mateša and the Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia to Japan Dražen Hrastić, the decision was changed, reports HRT.

Marinić was provided with training on the track at a special time in the middle of the day. Upon arrival in Tokyo, the term was used by the British, whose country is on the list of those epidemiologically high-risk due to the spread of the Delta variant.

"We are grateful to everyone who had the heart to change the decision that jeopardized my performance at the Olympics. The decision was also changed for athletes from Ukraine and Canada who were quarantined at the same time as us. We are now training at a special time, but we are still banned from going down to the restaurant where other athletes go. That's what we were looking for. We will respect everything so that I can train, and give my maximum on the track on July 25th. I believe none of us have contracted the coronavirus. We have been vaccinated and behind us are ten negative tests since arriving in Japan," said Marinić after the first training on the track after a two-day break.

Perestegi is also satisfied with the change in the decision.

"This is the best example that the fight for medals starts off the track - in our heads. When he felt that the entire Croatian public was with him after leaving the track, Marinić received an additional urge to win a place in the finals of the Olympic Games, and to do his best in the fight for the medal," Perestegi pointed out.

Marinić and Perestegi are staying in the hotel near the track where they train for a few more days. After that, they move to the Olympic Village. The Olympic Games open on July 23, 2021.

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Sunday, 4 July 2021

Final Olympic Preparations: Matija Marinić, Anamarija Govorčinović, and Vanesa Tot Ready for Tokyo

July 4, 2021 - Canoeists Matija Marinić, Anamarija Govorčinović, and Vanesa Tot are ready to go to the Olympic Games in Tokyo. These three athletes will participate in the Olympics for the first time.

Marinić travels to Japan on Monday, and the other two athletes two and a half weeks later.

Anamarija Govorčinović is the first Croatian kayaker on calm waters to participate in the Olympic Games, and Vanesa Tot is the first Croatian canoeist to win a place in this prestigious competition. In addition, Matija Marinić will compete in the canoe slalom on wild waters, a discipline in which Croatia already had representatives at the Olympic Games.


"Seconds separated me from performing at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Since I have been dreaming of competing in the Olympics all my life, I was pleased when I managed to qualify for the Tokyo Games three years later. I look forward to the race. I will do my best to win a performance at the end of the competition, and then anything is possible. I hope that I will return to Croatia with a medal," said 31-year-old Matija Marinić, who has his last training before leaving for the Japanese capital on the Zagreb part of the Sava.

His coach Stjepan Perestegi has high expectations for his performance at the Olympic Games.

"In recent months, Matija has shown what and how much he can do. He won gold in the race in Tacen and bronze in Solkan. Therefore, he goes to Tokyo extremely well prepared. We will arrive on the trail next week; we will work on technique and tactics. We met the trial at the end of 2019. It is an artificial track that is technically very demanding. Now we need to adopt it in its entirety, and Matija needs to work on concentration and visualization because one wrong move can take him away from the desired result," said Stjepan Perestegi.


He added that due to epidemiological restrictions, Marinić will not have strength training in the hotel next to the trail where he will be accommodated for the first two weeks after arriving in Japan, but that he hopes that this will not affect his physical condition. Perestegi reckons that the explosiveness he possesses will bring Marinić closer to the podium.

Twenty-four-year-old Anamarija Govorčinović also intends to do her best.

"Performing at the Olympic Games is my dream that will come true. I will give my maximum and hope for the best. I am aware of how strong the competition is there, but that it is not enough to achieve your best time for a medal. It also takes a little luck," said Anamarija Govorčinović during training in Zagreb.


24-year-old Vanesa Tot, who trains intensively for the Olympic Games in Slavonski Brod, failed to meet with journalists in Zagreb with Matija Marinić and Anamarija Govorčinović.

Members of the Croatian Kayak Association in Tokyo expect stringent epidemiological rules. Marinić and Perestegi revealed that they had already received detailed instructions on protection against coronavirus infection. Athletes come to Japan in groups every two weeks. The groups do not mix with each other, and athletes will be able to enter the Olympic Village only a week before the Games. They will measure their own temperature and enter data about it into one of two applications created for epidemiological reasons. Every other day, athletes will need to test their saliva to successfully prevent the spread of the infection in the event of a coronavirus outbreak.


The Olympic Games will be held from July 23 to August 8, 2021.

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