Wednesday, 31 August 2022

Croatia Women's Water Polo Write History at European Championships in Split

August 31, 2022 - The Croatia women's water polo team defeated Romania 15:6 in the 3rd round of the European Championships in Split and secured a historic quarterfinal spot at the tournament! 

After beating Germany 15-8, Croatia claimed another huge win, netting 15 goals again, this time against Romania. This result likely sends them to the quarterfinals for the first time in history.

Head coach Aljosa Kunac called for a time-out after just 3:03 minutes – with 0-0 on the scoreboard. Then, in just 2:40 minutes, Croatia led 4-0, scoring from four straight possessions. Another 4-1 quarter followed the first, and Croatia led 8-2 at halftime.

The second half continued on the same path. With this second win, Croatia secured their spot in the quarterfinals – a historical result for the hosts as they couldn't achieve the same in their previous three appearances.

“We needed him to achieve this historical result (holding his baby boy on his arm). Seriously, I had to call that time-out as the players started taking shots from everywhere without setting up anything; they thought it was just about shooting and once they’d score. I told them to stop this; we have a plan, stick to that, and play according to it as a team. It turned out that it was worth listening to me, the plan worked, so we are really happy now," said Croatia coach Aljosa Kunac. 

In the 4th round, Croatia will play against Hungary, and they still have Greece.

"We have done our job, but we do not intend to stop there. There will be more games in the battle for 5th to 8th place where we can look for another victory. The first task before us is preparing for Hungary, our next opponent. We will prepare as best as possible, try not to make a big difference, and for the girls to play it without stress."

“First, I would like to congratulate the whole team as this victory truly was a team effort. Today was my day; I scored 4/5, but five players plus the goalkeeper worked hard so the sixth player could score, and today that was me. I am proud of everything we have done so far. We did everything we said we would before coming here. Only the first match with the Netherlands didn’t go as planned, but that was normal. It was our first official game together, and the pressure of playing at home in this great arena made an impact. We will now try and prepare for Hungary and give our best again," said player Matea Skelin.

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

Monday, 29 August 2022

Brilliant Start for Croatia at LEN European Water Polo Championships in Split

August 29, 2022 - An easy win for the Croatia men's water polo team in their first match at the 35th LEN European Water Polo Championships in Split. Croatia crushed Malta 19:5 at Spaladium Arena on Monday night. 

The third day of the 35th LEN European Water Polo Championships at Spaladium Arena in Split was held on Monday, which finally featured the men's competition and, of course, Croatia's Barracudas!

After the Croatia women's water polo team defeated Germany on Sunday, the men took the stage after the official opening ceremony. 

The opening ceremony also welcomed the highest state, county, and city officials, including Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, Split Mayor Ivica Puljak, and Split-Dalmatia County Prefect Blazenko Boban. 

"We are expecting a lot of guests, from the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia, ministers, representatives of the city government, heads of the boards of many Croatian companies and our partners, and most importantly, the people of Split and everyone who loves water polo to come and support both our national teams. I am convinced of a good game against Malta in a spectacular atmosphere, as well as I hope that we will reach the fight for a medal with the intimate desire to reach the final," said Perica Bukić, vice-president and executive director of the Croatian Water Polo Federation, before the opening ceremony. 

The opening ceremony also featured Croatian music greats Zorica Kondža, Goran Karan, Tedi Spalato, Lidija Bačić, and Ante Gelo, among others. 

Croatia and Malta met in the 1st round of Group B from 21:00. 

"We are looking forward to the start of the European Championship, which is the end of long preparations, a tiring summer in which we also played the World Championships. We have done everything necessary, the national team is ready for the start of the competition, and we are starting to achieve the biggest and best result possible," said coach Ivica Tucak before the match. 

Match report

1st Quarter

Kharkov won the sprint for Croatia to kick off the first quarter, but the attack went without a goal. Malta's first attack was also unlucky. Loren Fatovic scored Croatia first goal with 6:53 on the clock for 1:0. Malta's next attack also went without a goal. Krzic made it 2:0 for Croatia with 6:19 left.  A brilliant save by Bijac kept Croatia ahead with 3 minutes to go. The first quarter ended 2:0 for Croatia. 

2nd Quarter

Malta won the swim-off for the first attack of the 2nd quarter but failed to score. Croatia did not score in their first or second attack. Malta hit the post with just over 5 minutes to go but still couldn't find the back of the net. Ivan Krapic made it 3:0 for Croatia with 5:15 left. Zuvela intercepted Malta's next attack though Kragic's shot was blocked. Croatia's defense blocked Malta's next attack, and Rino Buric had a quick counter. Buric passed to Kragic, who scored for 4:0. Buric found the back of the net with less than 2 minutes to go until the half - 5:0 Croatia! Malta's first goal of the match came with 1:09 left. A brilliant interception and one-on-one for Loren Fatovic was ultimately called for a Malta ball, and the match went into halftime 5:1 Croatia. 

3rd Quarter

Malta won the swim-off of the third quarter and scored for 5:2 in their first attack. Croatia was unable to score in the next play. Kharkov's shot hit the post, which found Fatovic, who scored for 6:2 Croatia with just over 6 minutes on the clock. Luka Bukic made it 7:2 for Croatia in the next play. Kragic scored a rocket for 8:2 with 5:10 left. Kragic scored for 9:2 with less than 4 minutes to go in the quarter. Rino Buric scored for 10:2 Croatian with 2 minutes left. Fatovic scored for 11:2 with just over a minute to go before the final quarter. Fatovic scored for 12:2 with 44 seconds on the clock. Malta scored for 12:3 to end the third quarter. 

4th Quarter 

Zuvela won the swim-off for Croatia's first attack of the final quarter. Zuvela scored for 13:3. A penalty was called for Croatia with 6:05 on the clock, which Kragic scored for 14:3. Zuvela impressed with a backhanded move around the Malta defender and lob over the keeper for 15:3 with 5:34 left in the match. Fatovic scored for 16:3 with just over 3 minutes in the match. And it was 16:4 after a Malta goal seconds later. A brilliant play in the Croatia attack found Buric alone in front of the Malta goal to score for 17:4. Malta found the back of the net again with 2 minutes to go in the match - 17:5. Krapic scored with 39 seconds left for 18:5. And Kharkov scored the final goal of the match for 19:5 Croatia! 

Croatia plays France next on Wednesday at 20:30. 

Upcoming schedule of concerts at Spaladium Arena's Jana - Water City

Tuesday, August 30

21:00 – Matija Cvek

Wednesday, August 31

22:00 – Mladen Grdović

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

Wednesday, 20 July 2022

Preparations Underway for 35th European Water Polo Championships in Split (VIDEO)

July 20, 2022 - Spaladium Arena, the central venue of the 35th European Water Polo Championships, played from August 27 to September 10, 2022, is slowly transforming into a water polo stage.

Installing the built-in swimming pools is underway, which will host the creme de la creme of European water polo at the end of the summer and give birth to new European champions, reports Dalmacija Danas.

"In addition to the preparations that have been ongoing for some time, now the foundation of the whole story, the symbol of this sport, has arrived at the Spaladium Arena, which is the swimming pool. The assembly will last exactly one month, after which the finishing works will follow, all to ensure that all participants, as well as visitors, enjoy a real spectacle at the end of summer in the heart of Dalmatia," noted Renato Živković, general secretary of the Croatian Water Polo Federation and executive director of the European Championship Organizing Committee.


There will be two swimming pools inside the Spaladium Arena hall. The central pool, where the European matches will be played, is 36 meters long, 25 meters wide, and 2.20 meters deep, giving a total capacity of 1,980 liters of water to fill. The Spaladium's small hall will have a smaller pool for team warm-ups, 25 meters long, 18 meters wide, and 2.20 meters deep. The volume of the small pool is 990 liters.

"While the pools are getting their contours, we remind you that tickets for the water polo spectacle, co-organized by LEN and the Croatian Water Polo Federation, are on sale online and at all Adriaticket points of sale. In addition, for everyone who wants an unforgettable experience and those who want to be a part of the European championship, there are applications for volunteers. 

The stage in Spaladium is in good condition, and the mascot Roko is in full operation. He participates in the works every day on assignment and can't wait for the arrival of numerous cheerleaders and fans from all over Europe, selfies, autographs and lots of good fun. And that's why you should be part of this magnificent water polo story at the end of the summer," concluded the organizers. 

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

Friday, 4 March 2022

Russia Banned from European Water Polo Championships in Split this September

March 4, 2022 - The European Water Polo Championships in Split will be held from August 27 to September 10, 2022, at Spaladium Arena. 

A special program awaits water polo this year, with the World and European Championships held just a few months apart. Namely, the first to be held is the pandemic-postponed World Aquatics Championships, and after the initial news that the Fukuoka tournament would be postponed yet again this summer, FINA announced in early February that the tournament would go on, but in Budapest instead from June 18 and July 3.

The world's best water polo players will thus compete in Hungary this summer - and just two months later, Split will host the European Water Polo Championship from August 27 to September 10. 

The 16 best national teams in Europe will compete at Split's Spaladium Arena this summer. The draw will take place on April 23. 

European Water Polo Championship, Split, August 27 to September 10:

The European umbrella organization for water sports (LEN) has decided that the Russia water polo team will not play in Split. LEN has banned all Russian and Belarusian athletes from participating in their competitions, both club and continental.

"The European Water Sports Federation (LEN) met yesterday and decided not to invite Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials to LEN events in response to the invasion of Russian forces in Ukraine, until further notice," LEN said in a statement, adding that no LEN competitions would be organized in Russia or Belarus until further notice.

LEN also expressed support for Ukrainian athletes and the Ukrainian people.

"LEN strongly condemns the actions of the Russian government supported by Belarus in its invasion of Ukraine. This act of war has ruined the lives of Ukrainian citizens and is completely contrary to the sporting spirit," LEN added.

In addition, LEN announced that it supports a concrete humanitarian initiative of the Croatian Art Swimming and Diving Associations to accommodate Ukrainian athletes and family members as refugees.

This project, supported by FINA, will allow athletes to continue to train and represent Ukraine in international competitions. This initiative is supported by the Ministry of Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Croatia, and the hosts will be Zagreb, Zadar, Rijeka, and others, according to the LEN website.


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

Saturday, 27 February 2021

LEN Euro Cup: Mladost Tops CN Barcelona Away in Game 1 (11:9)

February 27, 2021 - Mladost tops CN Barcelona 11:9 in the first round of the LEN Euro Cup round of 16, played in Girona, Spain on Saturday afternoon. 

The Mladost Zagreb water polo team won the first of two games against CN Barcelona in the LEN Euro Cup round of 16 on Saturday. 

The match was very even, as expected. During the first two quarters, neither team had more than a one-goal lead. Mladost led the first quarter 2:1, while Barcelona won the second 3:1. 

Mladost made the most of their chances, especially in the third and final quarter, when they achieved a small advantage, with two goals in the third to lead 7:5 and three in the last for 9:6.

The match ended at 11:9 for Mladost. 

Konstantin Kharkov was the top scorer of the match with four goals. 

The return match will be played in Zagreb on March 6. 

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

Friday, 28 August 2020

Split Confirmed to Host 35th European Water Polo Championships in August 2022

August 28, 2020 - The 35th European Water Polo Championships will take place in Split from August 27 to September 10, 2022, LEN announced today.

The Championships will be held at the 10,000-seater Spaladium Arena in Split, which was confirmed as the host city in October 2018.

Originally planned for the middle of summer, the European Championships will be held at the end of August since the World Championships have been moved from 2021 to May 13 – 29, 2022. LEN said they wanted to ensure the players had enough time to recover between competitions. 

A statement from LEN on Friday:

“To have our top water polo event in July 2022 would mean unbearable load for our great water polo players who will need to enjoy a substantial recovery period after an unprecedentedly busy spring. Athletes’ welfare has always been in the core of LEN’s policies and we shall never move away from our principles. The Croatian Water Polo Federation and the local organisers were all very supportive to hold the championships at the end of the summer," LEN President Paolo Barelli said. 

“Though the event is still two years away, Croatia, the city of Split and the local water polo community are all already excited to welcome back the European Water Polo Championships to our country. International water polo events always enjoy a fantastic atmosphere here in Croatia and we expect nothing less this time. On behalf of the organisers and the city, we can promise to deliver another outstanding championships in 2022,"  Croatian Water Polo Federation President Mladen Drnasin added.

The event returns to Croatia 12 years after the competition was successfully held in Zagreb 2010. Russia, France, and Malta competed against Croatia for a chance to host the championship in 2022, but Croatia, with the support of the Government, the City of Split, the County, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, and SDUŠ, was convincingly chosen as the winner. 

Source: Total Waterpolo

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Thursday, 31 October 2019

LEN Champions League Recap: Jug Tops Group A, Mladost and Pro Recco Draw in Last Second Thriller

October 31, 2019 - Jadran Split, Jug Dubrovnik, and Mladost Zagreb all appeared in the third round of the LEN Champions League this week. 

Jadran Split suffered their second defeat in the Champions League on Tuesday. In the third round of Group A, Jadran lost in Kazan to Sintez 16:11 (4:3, 4:4, 5:2, 3:2).

The Russian side scored two goals in the first two minutes to lead 2:0. Jadran quickly responded, and Rino Buric scored twice to equalize 2:2. Jadran’s first and only lead of the match came in the 11th minute when Zovic scored for 6:5.

Sintez answered with three consecutive goals, but before the end of the second quarter, Delic reduced their lead to 8:7. The third quarter was crucial, in which Sintez scored five goals for 13:9. The game ended 16:11. 

Jug AO played right after Jadran on Tuesday and defeated German club Spandau 04 12:7 (2:4, 2:2, 3:0, 5:1) in the third round of Champions League, thus topping Group A.

Jug did not enter the game well, with Spandau 04 leading 4:2 after the first quarter - and they even maintained their two-goal lead after halftime (6:4). Jug, however, showed their worth in the second half. 

The third quarter saw a turnaround, and with goals by Loren Fatovic, Luka Lozina, and Filip Krzic, the Dubrovnik side reached their first lead of the game (7:6). After three and a half minutes in the last quarter, they increased their lead to 10:6, and their victory was all but confirmed. Jug went on to win 12:7.

Loren Fatovic was great for Jug with six goals, while Lozina and Alexandros Papanastasiou added two. 

In the fourth round on November 8, Jadran and Jug will meet in Split. 

In the 3rd round of Group B on Wednesday, Mladost played 11:11 against the mighty Pro Recco, led by former Croatia national team coach Ratko Rudic, and managed the draw in the last second of the match.

Mladen deservedly scored a point against the most expensive team in the world to record 24 wins in their last 24 Champions League games.

Mladost led 2:1 after the first quarter, at halftime, they were up 6:5, and in the middle of the third quarter, they were up by two (7:5). However, Pro Recco led 8:7 by the end of the third quarter, then 10:9 and 11:10 in the last leg. The Italian side scored for 11:10 with three seconds to go, and it seemed that would be the end. However, Mladost managed to equalize in the time remaining, and the hero of the match became Cosmin Radu, who scored for 11:11. 

The best player for Mladost was Luka Bukic, who scored three goals and Milos Cuk, who scored two goals, while Ivan Marcelic had eight saves. For Pro Recco, Filip Filipovic, Francesco di Fulvio, Dusan Mandic were the most efficient with two goals. 

It was a collision of the teams that together have the most European Championship titles - Pro Recco 8, Mladost 7. Pro Recco, however, has been waiting for the European title since 2015, while Mladost hasn’t been the best in Europe since 1996.

Mladost currently sits in 4th place of Group B and will visit the Spanish team Terrassa on November 9. 

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