Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Will Croatian Civil Protection Headquarters Let Country's Top Olympic Athletes Train?

April 15, 2020 - The Croatian Civil Protection Headquarters are still debating whether the country's top athletes could return to training under special conditions. 

Although the response of the Croatian Civil Protection Headquarters on the initiative of the Croatian Olympic Committee (HOO) was expected on Tuesday about continuing training for top athletes under safety conditions, the Director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ) Krunoslav Capak said a unified position of the Headquarter members had not been reached on the subject so far and that the option remained under consideration, reports HRT.

HOO president Zlatko Matesa announced the initiative at a time when speculation was made about postponing the Tokyo Olympics. Now, he has made that view more concrete by the fact that the Sinkovic brothers or Sandra Perkovic and other representatives of individual sports, athletics, sailing, archery, swimming or martial arts, can hold sports training in training facilities only with coaches, and without the presence of spectators.

Aware of the complexity of the current situation, Damir Segota, the head of the HOO Olympic Program, is an advocate of the idea that only beginning Olympians from individual sports can be trained in or at the sites of the parent clubs. In the event the general situation in the country and the world improves during the coronavirus pandemic and the measures currently in force are loosened, it may be permissible that training resumes for Croatian Olympic athletes of the First and Second categories (athletes with international success), who are in the system of the National Olympic Association 220 nationwide. Of course, the other group of athletes should be very patient.

It is not difficult to know who might be affected by the proposal of the Croatian State Office of Sport and the HOO, just by looking at the list of Olympic candidates:

ATHLETICS - Sandra Perkovic, Sara Kolak, Filip Mihaljevic, Bojana Bjeljac
GYMNASTICS - Tin Srbić, Ana Đerek
SAILING - Tonci Stipanovic, Sime and Mihovil Fantela, Elena Vorobjeva
KAYAK / CANOES - Matija Marinic
KARATE - Ivan Kvesic
SWIMMING - Franko Grgic, Marin Mogic
TABLE TENNIS - Andrej Gacina, Tomislav Pucar, Frane Tomislav Kojic
SHOOTING - Josip Glasnovic, Snjezana Pejcic, Petar Gorsa, Miran Maricic
TAEKWONDO - Matea Jelic, Kristina Tomic, Toni Kanaet
ROWING - Damir Martin, Valent and Martin Sinkovic

There are also three teams (national teams) on the list of potential Olympians for Tokyo - handball with 18 representatives, water polo (15 athletes) and basketball (14 athletes). Of course, it is too early to speak about names at a time when the Olympic qualifications have not been completed.

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


Monday, 13 April 2020

Croatian Olympic Committee President Planning Training for Top Athletes

April 13, 2020 - Croatian Olympic Committee (HOO) President Zlatko Matesa was a guest on Radio Split. In an interview with Marko Milicic, he spoke about possible economic consequences for sports and other economic activities, and also discussed adjusting to the new term of the Olympic Games.

"For all of us, the coronavirus pandemic has changed our everyday lives; it has strongly influenced all aspects of Croatian society, including sports. For weeks, nothing has been happening on the sports fields, the athletes are at home, just like other citizens, and they are listening to the recommendations of the National Headquarters. The implications are both related to sports and the economy," Matesa said in an interview with Croatian Radio.

Last week, the Croatian Government supported measures of the Central State Office for Sport, which will be converted into HRK 40 million for preserving jobs in sports collectives, and umbrella sports organizations are trying to help sports in other ways.

"Through our Office of the European Funds and the Office of the European Olympic Committees, a document has been drafted and proposed to the European Commission and on the basis of which we expect that the so-called SURE program, which also extends to Croatia, can also be used partly for sports. On the other hand, measures taken in the meantime by the Central State Office for Sports, led by Mr. Tomislav Druzak, should at least make it possible for sports to survive in organizational terms, until the competitions can begin again," said the leader of Croatian sports.

"As for Tokyo and moving the Games to next year, we have no major problems here. Scholarships to all Olympic candidates and coaches are normally paid, and I expect no problem on that side. It is essential that they all be healthy and once they can train again, to prepare for the Olympic Games in the best possible way," says Matesa.

But the question remains: When will top athletes be able to train again? Has the National Headquarters been contacted? While group training is advised against, top athletes still have to stay fit.

"We have initiated and the Central State Office for Sport has asked the Civil Protection Headquarters to consider the possibility of training certain groups of top athletes who, in their way own way, pose no threat. For example, we do not see a problem with Damir Martin and the Sinkovic brothers rowing or Sandra Perkovic training with her coach. We do not see any particular threat here, as even social distance can be maintained. We will see what the decision of the National Headquarters is and we will act accordingly," said Matesa.

You can listen to the full interview with Marko Milicic and Zlatko Matesa here.

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

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Croatian Clubs in Corona Crisis: Will They Survive?

March 21, 2020 - The coronavirus crisis could see many Croatian clubs fold if they don't get the support they need.

The coronavirus pandemic is posing a serious threat to Croatian sport, reports

There are alarming situations in many Federations that have already sought help from the Croatian Olympic Committee and the Central Sports Office. They are asking to establish some model of support so that the worst-case scenario does not happen - that clubs fold.

Sports around the world are particularly in danger because of the coronavirus crisis, as everything has come to a halt. Croatian federations and clubs have sounded the alarm, because if they don’t see support, we could easily see many Croatian clubs crumble. The Croatian Swimming Federation has already appealed to the Croatian Olympic Committee.

The appeal urges the HOO to try to find some model of co-financing for the clubs so that they are not extinguished. There are 57 swimming clubs in the Federation, and now they are left without the only source of income - membership fees.

Tomislav Družak, the head of the Central State Office for Sport, is aware that some of the funds that have been earmarked for competitions will not be spent, so they will be converted.

"As budget funds come in, we will we sort them out by federations while not being rigorous when it comes to controlling the justification of those funds," he said.

Taekwondo is also in big trouble. The European Championship, which was supposed to be held in Zagreb in May, has already been postponed, and only three Olympians are training due to the pandemic.

Football clubs are also having problems, and how the Croatian Football Federation will help them should be clearer next week.

"We will also ask for help from the state. Next week is a meeting with the Secretary of State, so we will see how we can help," said Executive Director of the Croatian Football Federation Marijan Kustić.

Of course, the health of every athlete is paramount, but we must look to the future, because if the state and umbrella sports institutions do not get involved, many clubs could crumble.

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

Friday, 28 February 2020

Croatian Olympic Committee on Coronavirus: Guidelines for Croatian Athletes

February 28, 2020 - The Croatian Olympic Committee (HOO), has issued guidelines to all Croatian athletes and teams regarding the latest coronavirus events and preventive measures.

Adhering to the recommended measures, all athletes and sports teams must announce their departure to sports competitions outside the borders of Croatia and await the official position of the competent authorities on whether or not they have a permit to leave, reports Glas Istre.

According to the statement, HOO closely monitors all events related to the occurrence of the coronavirus, especially to the viruses in the countries in our region, as well as the first cases in Croatia. Adhering to the recommended measures, all athletes and sports teams must announce their departure to sports competitions outside the borders of Croatia and await the official position of the competent authorities on whether or not they have a permit to leave.

“Regarding the possibility of canceling the Tokyo Olympics this year, of course, there is a threat. But at the HOO, we believe that there is enough time to put this global health crisis under control in a timely manner and that the Olympic Games will certainly be held. Otherwise, HOO will follow the recommendations and decisions of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which, together with the World Health Organization, monitors developments in the spread of coronaviruses. We are reminded that the IOC informed its members in mid-February that the cancellation of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, or their relocation from Tokyo, is out of the question for now,” the HOO said in a statement.

Otherwise, the Croatian Olympic Committee has also forwarded general hygiene measures to Croatian athletes and teams, stating that on all trips and competitions, especially trips and competitions in distant destinations with unusual climatic conditions (lots of humidity, etc.) and food items, it is important to adhere to all necessary hygiene measures for health protection. There is a special risk associated with mass gatherings, i.e., sports competitions.

Particularly important, the HOO Health Committee points out that athletes and teams should adhere to all the guidelines of the relevant health institutions and guidelines of the world sports organizations, as well as the organizers of multisport events in which they participate (athlete, coach, judge, delegate) as an active participant or guest.

"Wash your hands frequently with soap and water and/or use alcohol-based wipes for hand disinfection! Wash your hands before, during and after food preparation! Be sure to wash your hands before eating! Wash your hands before and after using the toilet! When coughing or sneezing, try to protect your mouth with a handkerchief and always wash your hands! Avoid handshakes and contact (only when necessary), and wash your hands immediately with water and soap or alcohol-based disinfecting wipes! At airports and all other means of transportation, be sure to avoid touching objects and things,” the HOO warns athletes.

The HOO's health commission suggests drinking bottled water, by no means tap, and thoroughly washing raw food, fruits and vegetables using clean and tested water. They recommend avoiding under-cooked foods, especially meat, and eating freshly cooked foods that are well-cooked or baked. They also advise you to avoid eating in unverified and suspicious-looking restaurants without prominently featured HASAP certificates, not to eat ice cream, sweets or use ice in drinks, and usw different boards and knives to cut food. Washing hands thoroughly after handling raw and cooked foods is a must.

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

Friday, 20 December 2019

Croatian Olympic Committee Names Tin Srbic, Sandra Perkovic Best Athletes of 2019

December 20, 2019 -  Athlete Sandra Perkovic and gymnast Tin Srbic were named the best Croatian athletes by the Croatian Olympic Committee (HOO), while rowers Martin and Valent Sinkovic were named best crew, couple or relay for the seventh consecutive time.

HRT writes that Perkovic won the title of the best Croatian female athlete for a record eighth time in a row, while the world and European champion Srbic was named for the second time by the Croatian Olympic Committee.

“It hasn’t been going well for me lately, but the Tokyo Olympics are coming. We had a miracle in Rio, with ten medals, and I think in Tokyo, Croatian athletes can win more. I started with preparations stronger than in the previous years, and after London and Rio, there are secret desires that I want to fulfill in Tokyo. I just need to stay healthy,” said Perkovic, who won bronze in the discus throw at the Doha World Championships this year.

Gymnast Tin Srbic became the best Croatian athlete for the second time and announced that he is competing for the medal in Tokyo next year. Srbic was the finalist at the World Championships on the horizontal bar in Germany's Stuttgart, and earlier this year, Tin also won the silver medal at the European Championships in Szczecin.

“Two years ago, I was the world champion, and for the first time, the laureate of the HOO. Everything happened so suddenly. Now, I'm more aware of my great results. I dream of Tokyo and I can't wait for it,” said Srbic briefly.

The brothers Valent and Martin Sinkovic dominated the coxless pairs in 2019, becoming European champions in Lucerne in June, and world champions three months later in Linz. They also took home the International Rowing Federation’s title of Best Male Crew in 2019.

“We are training, there are no injuries and we are ready for Tokyo - and we feel ready for the Paris Olympics in five years. Coach Bralic also recently got a new hip for us, so he will be ready for Paris as well. The transition to a new discipline has proven to be excellent and we plan to take the gold in Tokyo,” Martin Sinkovic said.

The success of the Sinkovic brothers was complemented by their coach Nikola Bralic, who won the title of the best Croatian coach for the fourth time.

“We will strive to maintain the level we’ve had so far in the next year. So that we remain the best,” Bralic commented briefly.

The most successful team in 2019 goes to Croatia water polo, as they won the bronze at the World Championships in South Korea's Gwangju, while the best women's team is the Croatian bowling team, which won the World Championships in the Czech Republic.

The award for the best Croatian sports promoter in the world went to Luka Modric. His father Stipe received the award on Luka's behalf.

HOO's traditional Matija Ljubek Lifetime Achievement Awards went to Vinko Dobric, Tennis Club Osijek, the Croatian Rowing Federation, Lokomotiva Zagreb Handball Club and DOŠK Basketball Club from Drnis.

The HOO's special award for fair play went to Valentina Pereglin, a member of the Croatian crossbow team, while special recognition for promoting sports went to Sports Television (SPTV).

Until December 10 this year, Croatian athletes competed in 138 world championships, 185 European championships, 111 world and 59 European cups. A total of 384 medals were won at the international competitions, of which 119 are gold, 101 are silver, and 164 are bronze.

“This year was extremely successful, which will be followed by an exciting sports year in 2020, the Olympic year with the Games in Tokyo, the year of the European Handball, Water Polo and Football Championships, and the Davis Cup. Next year, there will be as many as 1060 performances by Croatian athletes internationally, which is a really big number. Croatia is a superpower in sport; to this day, we have 125 athletes in the Olympic program, and we will surely go to Tokyo with many of our athletes for new successes,” said HOO President Zlatko Matesa.

The ceremony at the Westin Hotel in Zagreb was attended by many prominent sports and social figures in Croatia, as well as the Japanese Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia.

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

Friday, 19 August 2016

Mister Šustar, You’ve Had Your Chance

Predrag Šustar, Minister of Science, Education, and Sport announced on August 19, 2016 that he would start the initiative to raise awards for Olympic medals

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

What To Do When Congratulations By The Government And The Croatian Olympic Committee Sound Like A Curse

On TCN, we have written about the problems of Croatian sport many times. It is nice for a change to let somebody else to address the issue, and who better than the man responsible for the official website of the Croatian Olympic Athletes Club. This editorial was published on May 9, 2016, and we bring it as it is published there.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Croatian Female Karate Team In The Finals Of The European Championship!

Croatian team is in the finals after winning the semifinals against the home team of France, with some unusual exercise before the matches.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

European Karate Championship - Three Croatians Battling for Medals

Croatian Karate Team is in Montpellier, France, and tree athletes reached the medal battle trough repechage

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Croatian Olympic Committee Has No Funding With Olympic Games Starting In Less than Four Months

Minister of science, education, and sport is yet to name his deputy in charge of sport, and the budget of the Olympic Committee is exceeding the funds provided for it in the 2016 government budget.

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