Monday, 13 June 2022

Sinovčić Defends Title in 100m Backstroke at World Para Swimming Championships

ZAGREB, 13 June 2022 - Dino Sinovčić of Croatia won the gold on Sunday in the men's 100 m backstrokes at the World Para Swimming Championships taking place in Funchal, Portugal.

Matias de Andrade came second and the bronze went to Italian para swimmer Antonio Fantin.

Sinovčić thud defended his title after he became the world champion in this swimming event in London in 2019.

Sinovčić won a bronze in the men's 100m backstroke S6 at the Tokyo Paralympics.

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

Sunday, 9 January 2022

Croatian Paralympians Reflect on Successful 2021, Ready for Beijing 2022

January 9, 2022 - Despite another challenging pandemic year, Croatian athletes with disabilities achieved excellent results in 2021, and it was one of the most successful years for Croatian Paralympians.

"I am delighted and satisfied with the results achieved in the past year," said the president of the Croatian Paralympic Committee (HPO), Ratko Kovačić, on T.portal.

"We reached a high level of results last year in various international competitions. We won 461 medals, 54 at the Paralympic Games and world and European championships. According to the number of medals won at the Paralympics in Tokyo, we are 46 in the world. According to the criteria of medals won according to the number of inhabitants, we are among the eight in the world, so we have knowledge and quality. The public increasingly recognizes us and appreciates the success of our athletes," he added.

Undoubtedly the most important competition last year was the Paralympic Games in Tokyo - and they were the most special in history. With a year of delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, they were held in excellent conditions, without spectators, and with strict epidemiological protocols, with intense testing of all participants in the city in a state of emergency due to record coronavirus infections. As a result, Croatian athletes with disabilities competed in a record eight sports, winning a record seven medals - three silver and four bronze. Until Tokyo, Croatian Paralympians won the most medals in London (2012) and Rio de Janeiro (2016), five each.

"We escorted our Paralympians to the Paralympics in Tokyo from the historic Pula Arena with the desire to be brave and determined to fulfill their sporting dreams, and above all to preserve health in these pandemic conditions. As a result, we competed in triathlon, taekwondo, and bocce for the first time. In Tokyo, we competed in the largest number of sports since Croatian independence - eight, and with seven medals we won the largest number of medals in the history of our performances at the Paralympic Games," Kovačić said, congratulating the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and Japan on the top organization.

Kovačić pointed out that HPO adjusted its plans in the pandemic year but kept the statuses of all athletes and those involved in the Paralympic programs and HPO programs.

"All this has led to great success for our athletes at international competitions and the Paralympic Games in Tokyo," he added.

He emphasized that HPO's activities in the next Paralympic cycle will aim to maintain and increase the level of top results and involve as many young people with disabilities in sports as possible.

"All this should be accompanied by strengthening the organizational and professional infrastructure. We have good support from the state budget through the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and our sponsors. But that does not cover all our program needs and plans," he said, pointing out the biggest problems.

"We see the biggest problems in the weak support for sports at the local level, as well as inadequacy and insufficient availability of sports facilities. We strive to enable sports for all young people with disabilities throughout the Republic of Croatia, and so far, we have a coverage of 40 percent. However, we need additional financial incentives to properly develop the program of involving young people in sports throughout the country."

Ahead of the Paralympians is the Winter Paralympics in Beijing from March 4 to 13, 2022.

"The performance of two athletes in alpine skiing has been confirmed, namely Lucija Smetiško and Damir Mizdrak, then Bruno Bošnjak will compete in snowboarding, and we expect another invitation for one athlete in Nordic skiing. Croatia first competed in the Winter Paralympics in Salt Lake City in 2002 in alpine skiing, and since then, we have been regularly participating. At the last Winter Paralympic Games in Pyongyang, Croatia competed for the first time in three sports (alpine skiing, Nordic skiing, snowboarding) with seven athletes. The most significant result in Croatian Paralympic history was achieved at these Winter Paralympic Games. One gold medal in alpine skiing in the slalom discipline (Dino Sokolović) and a bronze medal in snowboarding in the banked slalom discipline (Bruno Bošnjak) were won. It is hard to believe that we could repeat the success from South Korea, but we hope that Bošnjak could repeat the success from the previous games," concluded Kovačić.

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

Tuesday, 17 August 2021

Tokyo 2020: Croatia Paralympic Athletes Competing in Record Number of Sports

August 17, 2021 - Croatia Paralympic athletes will compete in a record 8 sports in Tokyo at the 2020 Paralympic Games. 

The Croatian Paralympic Committee has concluded the list of athletes for the 16th Summer Paralympic Games in Tokyo, held from August 24 to September 5, 2021, says HPO.

Croatia's colors will be defended by 22 para-athletes in as many as a record eight sports, of which we are competing in para-taekwondo, para-bocce, and para-triathlon for the first time.

Mikela Ristoski, Ivan Katanušić, Miljenko Vučić, Zoran Talić, Deni Černi, Velimir Šandor, Marijan Presečan, Matija Sloup, Ana Gradečak and Vladimir Gašpar compete in para-athletics.

Dino Sinovčić, Kristijan Vincetić, Tomi Brajša, and the youngest member of the national team, 17-year-old Paula Novina, will compete in para-swimming. Anđela Mužinić and Helena Dretar Karić and Pavao Jozić will compete in table tennis.

Damir Bošnjak represents Croatian para-shooting for the fourth time.

Lucija Brešković will compete in para-judo for the second time.

Ivan Mikulić will compete in para-taekwondo, Davor Komar in para-bocce, and Antonio Franko in the para-triathlon. 

The Croatian flag will be carried at the Games' opening ceremony by Mikela Ristoski from Pula, the winner of the long jump gold in Rio de Janeiro and the bronze in London. The Opening Ceremony is on August 24 at 8 pm local time. 

The final preparations for the 16th Paralympic Games are underway.

HPO President Ratko Kovačić said: "Since independence, Croatian para-athletes have competed in seven summer Paralympic Games, winning 20 medals. Our sports heroes regularly achieve top sports results," Kovačić said, adding that "It was they who showed with their sporting achievements and results what it means to give their best. I sincerely thank them all for that! I am very proud of our athletes because, for the first time, we will perform in as many as eight sports, of which in as many as three for the first time. Before these somewhat strange games, our athletes showed that there are no limits for them.

All this was achieved in pandemic conditions when many of the athletes did not have the continuity of preparations even though international competitions have almost died out in the past year, then any further comment is unnecessary. In Tokyo, even with stringent epidemiological measures, I expect that we will continue the successful series of winning medals. In the end, I can only wish to reach the result from Rio de Janeiro when we won five medals," said President Ratko Kovačić.

Para-table tennis players Anđela Mužinić and Helena Dretar Karić will be the first to enter the arenas in the individual competition on August 25 at 9:00 local time in the Tokyo Metropolitan gymnasium.

The ceremonial farewell of the first part of the national team will be held on August 20 at the Hotel "Antunović," and the Paralympians will fly to Tokyo from the "Franjo Tuđman" International Airport on August 21.

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Friday, 16 July 2021

Croatia to Send 22 Para Athletes to Tokyo Paraylympics

ZAGREB, 16 July 2021 - The Croatian Paralympic Committee (HPO) has concluded its list of athletes for the 16th summer Paralympics in Tokyo from 24 August to 5 September, with 22 para athletes participating in various para sports. 

The Croatian flag will be carried by Mikela Ristoski at the opening ceremony. The long jumper won a gold medal in Rio de Janeiro and a bronze medal in London.

Ahead of concluding the final list of athletes to travel to Tokyo, HPO president Ratko Kovačič said that "since Croatia's independence para-athletes have competed in seven summer paralympic games and won 20 medals."

We expect that with very strong epidemiological measures in Tokyo, they will continue their success in winning medals. Finally, all we can do is hope they achieve the result they did in Rio de Janeiro when we won five medals, said Kovačić.

For more news, CLICK HERE. 

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Swimmer Dino Sinovcic First Croatian to Qualify for 2020 Paralympics

November 3, 2019 - By the decision of the Croatian Paralympic Committee, the first Croatian Paralympian to secure a spot in Tokyo next year is Dino Sinovcic, a member of PK Cipal from Split, who won the gold medal at the WPS World Paralympic Championship in the Queen Elizabeth Aquatic Center, discipline S6, on September 12 in London.

“It is an exceptional honor for me to be the first athlete to secure the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, and secondly, the responsibility to show up in the best light and to be as ready as possible when needed,” Sinovcic said to Dalmacija Danas about the success of securing the Paralympics games.

He added that he is aware of what awaits him in Japan:

“After the games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, I roughly know what awaits me in the ‘land of the rising sun’. I will do my best to prepare myself in every segment of my performance. Until then, I must fully commit to swimming and implement my coach Slobodan Glavcic’s program with the ultimate goal of winning a Paralympic medal,” Sinovcic concluded.

Coach Slobodan Glavcic spoke about his work with Dino Sinovcic: 

“I started working with Dino in 2006 when Dino was 14 years old. He was eager to learn then, and I used that to master the swimming technique on his back properly and to perfection. His disability, arthrogryposis, and frequent injuries did not allow him to swim the breaststroke and butterfly. So we didn't force freestyle swimming."

About Dino's approach to Paralympic swimming, Glavcic added:

“Dino is a great professional. Not one contract, not one training, and not one action went badly. Namely, during our trip, we were not focused solely on swimming. On Thursday, he took his final exam at the professional study of the Faculty of Kinesiology in Split, in swimming direction, so that it is a reality and a diploma by the end of the year."

Glavcic also spoke about plans for Tokyo: 

“Outside of the World Paralympic Championships in London, which booked him a spot in Tokyo, by the decision of the HPO Executive Board on September 19, he confirmed his spot, thus becoming the first Croatian Paralympian with a visa for Tokyo. We have a short break until the start of the POI preparations, which start on November 4th with a week's departure to Sarajevo and then continue to Dubrovnik. A key part of the preparations is the Body & Mind studio for three weeks and injury prevention training in Zagreb on December 1st so that Dino Sinovcic can complete the training plan and program without fear of injury next year.

Dino opens the next season with a performance at the Cro Open in Split on January 25 and 26. After that, he’ll work to the maximum to hopefully win the gold at the European Championships in Portugal in May. 

Until then, we will be competing in world series competitions in Lignan and Berlin. We then turn to the final preparations for the Paralympic Games. I hope that on September 4th, when the 100-meter backstroke race is held at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo, we will look forward to Dino’s medal,” concluded Slobodan Glavcic. 

At the moment, Croatian can confirm two representatives for the Paralympic Games, Split's Dino Sinovcic and Ivan Mikulic.

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