Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Croatian Gymnasts Continue Winning Medals this Season - What's Next?

June 22, 2022 - Croatian gymnasts were brilliant at the recently concluded World Cup in Slovenia, with Ana Đerek winning two new medals (gold and silver) and Mateo Žugec securing gold on the pommel horse. A look at what's next. 

Ana Đerek won two new medals at the World Cup in Slovenia! After Varna (gold on the beam and bronze on the floor) and Osijek (silver on the beam and floor), she climbed the podium again. Ana claimed gold on the floor routine and won silver on the beam, continuing an incredible series - the third World Cup in a row this season with two medals each. Or even better, she is thrilled that she won gold twice for the fourth weekend in a row since the Croatian Championship between Varna and Osijek! 

The GK Marjan Olympian from Split finished 2nd in Slovenia on the beam, scoring 13,250. Only Hungarian Zsofia Kovacz (13,650) was better, while her compatriot Greta Mayer (12,450) won the bronze. The second Croatian finalist on the beam, Tina Zelčić (ZTD Hrvatski sokol), remained one step closer to the podium, finishing fourth with 11,700 points in her 3rd SK final in her career.

Ana Đerek's silver on the beam was her 18th medal in World Cup tournaments, but only a few moments later, she reached the 19th in her 33rd final, thanks to gold on the 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 Ana's second gold this season after the beam in Varna and the fifth in her career at the World Cup. 

"Three World Cups in a row, six medals, and gold and silver. I really couldn't be happier," said Ana after listening to the Croatian national anthem in Slovenia.

"Things happened this time on my own, considering that I made a small mistake at the beginning of the exercise on the floor where 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."

And the beam?

"I did the exercise without falling; I won silver… I am delighted because I haven't been training on the beam very well for the last few days. We haven't found a common language on this beam until today. And the warm-up was bad, so I have no comment. However, my effort and work returned very nice," Ana was grateful.

Mateo Žugec won gold on the pommel horse at the World Cup in Slovenia. The 20-year-old from Varaždin, a member of GK Vindija, won the second medal in his third World Cup final, and in just three weeks, he added gold from Koper to his silver medal from Varna.

Mateo, once the fourth junior in Europe (2020) and the fifth junior in the world (2019), is quickly profiling himself as a great senior who taught a lesson to many more experienced than himself and celebrated with 14,050 points (start 5.6) in the final. 


Slobodan Kadic

"I hold this gold medal in my hand and have no words. I can't believe that in only three appearances at the World Cups, I took silver and here, this time gold. I am happy with myself. I hope this will continue at the Mediterranean Games in Algeria, which are now waiting for me. And until then, we are going to celebrate this gold," said Mateo after the final, in which he stood on the podium with the silver medalist Ukrainian Peter Pahnjuk (13,750) and the bronze medalist Hungarian Krisztofer Meszaros (13,200).


Slobodan Kadic

The Croatia national team is now turning to the Mediterranean Games, where Tin Srbić, Jakov Vlahek, Mateo Žugec, Ana Đerek, and Tijana Korent compete. 

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

Sunday, 29 May 2022

World Cup Silver Medal for Gymnast Mateo Žugec!

May 29, 2022 - Mateo Žugec, a 20-year-old gymnast from Varaždin's GK Vindija, stepped on the podium in his first World Cup final!

He won silver on the pommel horse in Varna with a score of 13,850 in the final, in which Croatia had two finalists. Liam Rabić (ZTD Hrvatski Sokol) was also a debutant in the finals and finished 7th (13,300).

This is only the second senior season for Mateo, the student of coach Emil Šanjek, but he has already shown he can hang with the big boys. In his only second appearance at the World Cup, after the recent one in Cairo, he won a medal in his first final.


Slobodan Kadic

Only Cypriot Marios Georgiou (14,500) was better than Žugec, while the bronze went to Jordanian Ahmad Abu Al Soud (13,800).

"I entered the exercise with confidence; I knew I had to be on the podium. It was written that in the end, I was third; I thought I was third, but the judges made a mistake, corrected the Jordanian's score, and I jumped to second place. I am delighted and very satisfied with myself, and I hope that it will continue like this. Both at the World Cup in Koper, which awaits me in June, and at the European Championships in August in Munich. We will continue training for these competitions," said Mateo Žugec from Varna.

Croatia also had a representative in the women's final.  In her 36th career final, Tijana Korent finished 8th with a score of 12,200. The gold medalist was Aline Friess (13,600).

"Unfortunately, it was not as successful as in the qualifiers. For the second jump, I had to do a new jump, I made a mistake, so I didn't even make that jump. I did the first jump, which is also new, and I'm happy with that. But I can’t say I’m pleased with the final performance. I hope that I will fix that by Osijek and that it will be better in the next competitions," commented Tijana.

On the second final day, Ana Đerek will fight for a medal on the beam and the floor. Recall, Ana was brilliant in qualifying on Friday, taking third place in both disciplines. 

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