Sunday, 25 July 2021

Croatia at Olympic Games: Canoeist Matija Marinić in Semis, Gymnast Ana Đerek without Finals

July 25, 2021 - It is the third day of the Olympic Games in Tokyo which has already revealed some great results for Croatia. Namely, canoeist Matija Marinić is in the semis!

Croatian athletes will compete in boxing, gymnastics, sailing, canoeing, swimming, table tennis, archery, tennis, water polo, and rowing.

Croatian gymnast Ana Đerek did not make it to the finals of the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

After three of the five subdivisions, Đerek is in 46th place on the beam with a score of 11,633, while on the floor, she is 34th with a score of 12,433. Only the eight best qualify for the finals.

Croatia sailing team member Jelena Vorobjeva took an excellent third place in the Laser Radial class after the first two races of the Olympic regatta held near Kamakura. The next two races are scheduled for Monday.

Croatia wildwater slalom canoeist Matija Marinić won a place in the semifinals with the fifth-best result in the qualifications.

Marinić had the fifth-best result in both runs and was slightly faster in the second run (99.66 seconds), but he got a two-second penalty for touching the 11th goal, so the overall result of the first run (100.33) was better, and he was counted for the final ranking.

Rower Damir Martin won in his single scull quarterfinal group and advanced to the semifinals of the Olympic Games.

Martin completed the course in 7.17.71 minutes, leaving the Hungarian, Japanese, Peruvian, Czech, and Kazakh rowers behind by at least seven seconds. In the last 500 meters, Damir rested and kept his strength for the semifinals, scheduled in three days.

Croatian shooters Petar Gorša and Miran Maričić failed to qualify for the finals of the 10-meter air rifle discipline.

Croatian table tennis player Andrej Gaćina finished his fourth appearance at the Olympics in the 2nd round of the individual competition, after being defeated by left-handed Frenchman Emmanuel Lebasson 4-0 (6, 8, 10, 11) in 38 minutes.

Next up, we await the results of Donna Vekić and doubles team Ivan Dodig and Marin Čilić in tennis and Croatia water polo, which faces Kazakhstan at 12:50 pm. Sailor Tonči Stipanović will compete once the conditions are better. 

Source: HRT

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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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Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Croatian Olympic Committee President Attacks Tokyo Organizers Over Marinić Isolation

July 14, 2021 - Croatian Olympic Committee president Zlatko Mateša has criticized the Tokyo organizers after Croatian canoeist Matija Marinić ended up in self-isolation. 

"The system in Tokyo is unsustainable, we ask the IOC to protect athletes," said the president of the Croatian Olympic Committee, Zlatko Mateša, after Matija Marinić, the first Croatian athlete to arrive in Tokyo for the Olympic Games, ended up in self-isolation, reports HRT.

The best Croatian whitewater canoeist came to Japan a week ago, and received the decision on Tuesday morning that he must spend the next week in quarantine. Namely, there was an infected passenger on the flight Marinić and his coach Stjepan Perestegi took to Japan.

Matija Marinić was vaccinated, he has no symptoms, and he has ten days of daily coronavirus testing behind him, eight of which he did in Japan, but still had to end up in self-isolation.

"This system is simply unsustainable. What is the benefit to an athlete staying in Japan and spending time in isolation, with a lot of testing and evidence that he is not infected? The Olympic Games have already been lost for our Matija Marinić, even if he performed at them, as planned from July 25. Who can compensate him for the years of training and preparation, effort and sacrifice that he invested for his first Olympic appearance?" said Zlatko Mateša.

"This is a glaring example of the inability of the organizers to deal with the problems associated with the pandemic. We ask the International Olympic Committee to protect athletes who prove their health status by daily tests and not to be subjected to such rigorous and unfounded measures, because then everything loses its meaning," the COC president added.

The COC appealed the self-isolation decision for Marinić, and the Deputy Head of the COC Mission Petra Nosso explained that Marinić and his coach Stjepan Perestegi were in self-isolation based on their seats printed on their airline tickets. According to them, they were sitting close to the infected passenger. 

However, as they did not sit in those seats in the end, they were quite far from a potential source of infection.

Nosso added that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is trying to resolve this case through talks with a partner organizer - the Japanese government, which in such cases should be above the authority of a particular prefecture.

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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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