Wednesday, 6 July 2022

Croatia Women's Handball Team Takes Silver at Mediterranean Games

July 6, 2022 - The Croatia women's handball team lost to Spain in the final of the Mediterranean Games, taking the silver medal in the end. 

The Croatia women's handball team lost to Spain 25:29 in the Mediterranean Games final in Oran. It is the second silver medal in the history of this Croatia national team. In addition, they have one gold and two bronze medals.

Spain opened the match brilliantly. After less than 6 minutes, they led 0:4. Croatia was also further depleted by the injuries of Lucija Bešen and Andrea Šimara during the tournament.

Little by little, Croatia came to -1 (5:6) in the 11th minute. It was also Croatia's biggest series of three consecutive goals in the first 30 minutes. Spain responded even stronger, and their streak ended at four straight goals. In the 18th minute, they had a double advantage (6:12).

Spain's biggest advantage was six goals about seven minutes before halftime. However, Croatia reduced it to -4 (13:17), leaving the game open for the second half. 

Croatia kicked off the second half with a 6:3 series and managed to get to -1 (20:19). Unfortunately, they couldn't get back ahead. Spain brought in fresh legs from the bench, and Croatia felt a lot of fatigue. Entering the last ten minutes, Spain again led by four goals. 

It was goal for goal at the very end, and Spain wisely stayed ahead and deservedly celebrated 25:29. With nine goals from 19 attempts, the best for Croatia was Katarina Pavlović, while Stela Posavec scored four goals. The best for Spain was captain Carmen Campos Costa with nine goals.

"The final match against Spain started worse for us. We conceded three or four goals in the first few minutes, so we were immediately forced to call a time-out. Nevertheless, we played one brave game, one good game that was decided by the details related to physical preparation. We should not forget that Spain had 18 days of preparation for these Mediterranean Games, and we had only five days of preparation, and well, in some details, that was the deciding factor.

I can only say that I am incredibly proud of these girls for all that they endured in these 20 days, from Prelog to Algeria. We didn't have the slightest problem; the girls behaved the way players representing Croatia should. They did their best and achieved what few expected. We reached the final, and we did not embarrass ourselves in that final. We played a very, very good game. Those couple of foul shots and technical mistakes put us in a situation to lose, which means nothing. We showed at this tournament that Croatia has a future, that Croatia has a heart, and that these are still the majority of players who usually do not have a chance to play for Croatia. Still, each of them showed a heart and a huge desire to be a part of what is called Croatia in the future national team," said coach Nenad Šoštarić.

In the bronze match, Serbia beat Portugal 26:22.

Source: HRS

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

Tuesday, 5 July 2022

Croatia Men's Volleyball Team Wins Mediterranean Games Gold!

July 5, 2022 - The Croatia men's volleyball team takes home the Mediterranean Games gold medal after defeating Spain! 

The Croatia men's volleyball team celebrated in the final of the Mediterranean Games in Oran on Monday, reaching the title without losing a set in the match for the gold medal. Croatia defeated Spain 3:0 (25:22, 30:28, 25:20).

The final was tense, as it should be, but Croatia was slightly better than Spain from the start. Croatia won the first set with a three-point advantage, the second with two, and finally the third with a five-point advantage.

Petar Đirlić led Croatia's victory with 16 points and captain Marko Sedlacek with 15 points. The best player for Spain was Andres Jesus Villena Rodriguez with 17 points.

The Croatia men's national team at the Mediterranean Games included Bernard Bakonji, Petar Višić, Ivan Mihalj, Kruno Nikačević, Stipe Perić, Petar Đirlić, Tomislav Mitrašinović, Hrvoje Pervan, Marko Sedlaček, Filip Šestan, Tino Hanžić and Ivan Zeljković.

"Fantastic atmosphere. We are not used to playing in front of such a large number of fans. We are glad that so many of our athletes came to support us. We beat Spain three times this summer, we knew we were favorites. From the first moment, we knew what we came for. The first after many years. Congratulations to everyone and let's celebrate!" said the golden Petar Đirlić.

In the fight for the bronze medal, Italy beat France 3:1 (22:25, 25:20, 25:15, 31:29).

But that's not all. 

Olympic taekwondo champion Matea Jelić also won the gold medal at the Mediterranean Games, defeating Spaniard Cecilia Castro Burgos 8-7 in the final up to 67 kg. On her way to gold, Jelić first defeated Anamarija Georgijevska from Macedonia 28-5 in the quarterfinals and Aya Shehata from Egypt 8-5 in the semifinals.

In addition to this gold, Croatia taekwondo became richer thanks to yet another medal won on Monday in Oran. Nika Petanjek won the bronze in the category over 67 kg.

In the quarter-finals, she eliminated Spaniard Tania Maria Castineira 7-4, but in the semi-finals, Turkish fighter Nafia Kus was better than her 11-10.

Josip Teskera, who was defeated in the quarter-finals of the category up to 58 kg, also competed on Monday. 

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


Monday, 4 July 2022

Matea Jelić Wins Gold, Nika Petanjek Bronze at Mediterranean Games

ZAGREB, 4 July 2022 - Olympic gold medalist Croatian taekwondo athlete Matea Jelić has won a gold medal at the 2022 Mediterranean Games in Oran, Algeria, defeating Cecilia Castro Burgos of Spain in the women's under-67kg final 8-7.

Jelić first defeated Anamarija Georgievska from North Macedonia 28-5 in the quarter-final and Aya Shehata from Egypt 8-5 in the semi-final.

Today, another Croatian taekwondo athlete won a medal in Oran - Nika Petanjek took the bronze in the over-67kg category.

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

Monday, 4 July 2022

Croatia Women's Handball Team Tops Serbia for Mediterranean Games Final!

July 4, 2022 - The Croatia women's handball team advanced to the Mediterranean Games final in Oran after defeating Serbia 31-20 (16-12) in the semi-final match.

The Croatia women's handball team is in the Mediterranean Games final in Oran! They defeated Serbia, a favorite in the tournament, by 11 goals.

Croatia opened the game well and Tena Petika scored for 2:0, which gave Croatia security. For the majority of the first half, Serbia went for goals, but in the 15th minute, Croatia took the lead again. Katarina Pavlović lifted Croatia to +3 in the 20th minute and in the 28th Croatia went to +5.

The second half was even better - Croatia reached 23:15 in just 10 minutes and Serbia had lost hope. Croatia's defense remained solid and the offense kept the advantage for a quiet finish. Croatia was even better at the end in a clash when the defense excelled and we scored easy goals. 

Katarina Pavlović and Tina Barišić scored eight goals each. Lana Jarak was excellent in the second half scoring 7 out of 7 goals. Antonija Tucaković was also great in goal, making 13 saves. Aleksandra Vukajlović scored eight goals for Serbia.

"Today, we primarily played as a team and had an excellent defense, which can be seen from the 20 goals conceded. We played smart, we prepared well for this match. We are very proud of this result, the medal won, and we are going to show in the final that the game against Spain was just one bad day and try to win the gold," said Sara Šenvald.

This is the third women's handball final at the Mediterranean Games. Croatia has won one so far in 1993 against France and lost one in 1997 also against France. Croatia thus returns to the final after 25 years.

In the second semi-final, Spain defeated Portugal 28:26 with great difficulty. Carmen Campos scored 10 goals, and Minciiuna six for Portugal.  

The final will be played on Wednesday at 15:00. Before that, Serbia - Portugal will play for bronze.

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

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Croatia to Compete at Mediterranean Games in Oran with 55 Male Athletes, 50 Female Athletes

June 22, 2022 - At the XIX Mediterranean Games in Oran, Algeria (June 25-July 6), Croatia will be represented by 105 athletes in a delegation of a total of 172 people.

Croatia will compete in 17 sports (athletics, badminton, bocce, boxing, gymnastics, wrestling, sailing, judo, karate, 3x3 basketball, fencing, volleyball, swimming, handball, archery, shooting, and taekwondo).

Most Croatia representatives are in volleyball (36), which plays in both competitions with quite strong teams. The Croatia women's handball team will also play in team sports. These two women's teams significantly affected the gender balance of Croatia's competitive delegation, which, with 55 male athletes and 50 female athletes, came close to an almost equal representation.


Croatian colors at the Mediterranean Games will be defended by the Olympic gold medalist from Tokyo Matea Jelić and bronze medalist Toni Kanaet (both from taekwondo), and most of our trump cards (karate, judo, wrestling, boxing) come from martial arts. Silver gymnast Olympian Tin Srbić will also compete in Oran, as well as his representative colleague, currently in excellent shape - Ana Đerek.

Croatia will have exceptionally high hopes in archery, led by Miran Maričić and the Glasnović brothers, and we must not neglect Croatia's bowlers because they brought a gold medal from the last Games (Pero Ćubela and Nives Jelovica), as well as sailors led by Olympian Elena Vorobev.

The result expectations are within the framework of Croatia's overall ranking so far in the competition of 25 Mediterranean countries, and this means a place in the Top 10 rankings of medal winners.

Recall, at the last Mediterranean Games in 2018 in Tarragona (Spain), Croatia's 99 athletes won 17 medals, of which nine were gold, five silver, and three bronze. At the same time, both Croatia national teams in team sports - volleyball and handball - took gold, and Croatia took ninth place in the list of countries that won medals. 

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

Thursday, 12 September 2019

On this Day in 1979, Poljud Stadium Opens in Split

September 12, 2019 - Poljud Stadium, one of Split’s most famous landmarks and the home of football club Hajduk Split, opened exactly 40 years ago today for the VIII Mediterranean Games in 1979.

24 Sata reports that Poljud Stadium was built following the project of prominent Croatian architect Boris Magas in 1979 for the needs of the VIII Mediterranean Games, after which it became the home of Hajduk Split. The stadium, known as "The Poljud Beauty”, is interesting because of its architectural composition -  its seashell-like design gives views of the nearby hills, sea, and islands, and was modeled after ancient Greek theaters.

The first football match at Poljud was played three days after the opening, but the attendance record was set in 1982 when there were between 55,000 to 60,000 people at the Split stadium. However, since there was no counter at the time, the exact number is based on speculation. The official capacity of Poljud is about 35,000 people.

Numerous sports and other events have taken place at Poljud, which are still held today. From the games of Hajduk to the Croatia national team, music festivals like Ultra, and concerts of Croatian singers, this building has seen it all.

Unfortunately, architect Boris Magas died in 2013, though some six years later, Hajduk hosted his grandson Bartol Pavusek and thanked him for his work and the efforts of his grandfather.

Although it is still one of the most beautiful stadiums in Croatia, many problems plague the 'Poljud beauty'.

At the time of its construction, Poljud’s comfort, unique roof structure and appearance was unsurpassed even in Europe, and because of this, in 2015, it was included in the list of protected cultural assets of the Republic of Croatia.  However, the passing of time and poor maintenance have left their mark.

Some say that Poljud’s roof structure is on the verge of collapsing, which resulted in various suggestions, one of them being that instead of the existing Lexan panels,  solar panels would be set up to generate electricity and collect rainwater to irrigate the pitch. The investment would pay off in 10-15 years, but, as usual, paperwork and money got in the way. 

In the last few years, Hajduk has made several interventions on rehabilitating and maintaining Poljud, with an investment of almost 40 million kuna. In 2019, a traffic light was repaired, in 2018, the damaged pitch from Ultra was changed, and two auxiliary terrains were built. A year earlier, the dressing rooms and all the facilities, such as the gym, first aid room, and fitness room were updated. Previously, the main pitch was drained and irrigated, and counters, barriers, and video surveillance were introduced. 

You can visit Poljud next to see Hajduk face Inter Zapresic and Varazdin, or wait until October for the highly anticipated Euro 2020 qualifier between the Croatia national team and Hungary. 

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

Monday, 9 September 2019

Split to Celebrate 40th Anniversary of Mediterranean Games with Week of Events

September 9, 2019 - Forty years have passed since the event that changed the face of Split - the 1979 Mediterranean Games. In its honor this week, numerous events will be organized in Split to celebrate this anniversary, reports Dalmatinski Portal.

“The City of Split, as the organizer and conceptual creator of this idea, has envisioned that 40 years should be celebrated with dignity,” said the president of the Split Sports Association Nenad Peris.

City of Split Social Affairs Chief Mate Omazic stressed the importance of the Mediterranean Games for Split.

“This is a sporting event that changed the face of the city. Many entities are involved in the organization,” he said.

The tourism aspect was explained by the director of the Split Tourist Board, Alijana Vuksic.

“Sport and culture are the motivators for our guests. Eight successful months are behind us in tourism, and September is also very successful, according to announcements. To do this, we need events like this. It is an opportunity to repay our athletes and clubs in our city.”

Thus, on Tuesday, at 5:30 pm, the MIS flag will be raised at Poljud Stadium, and the 10km race will begin at 6 pm. The start of the race is at Poljud, and the finish line is on the Riva.



On Thursday, at 5:30 pm, a football match will be held on auxiliary grounds at Poljud, and on Friday at 6 pm, a commemorative exhibition will open at the Old Town Hall in Pjaca to mark the 40th anniversary of the VIII. Mediterranean Games in Split. Furthermore, a ceremony on the theme of Mediterranean Games will be held at 7 pm at the Milesi Palace. All sports venues in the city will have open doors on Saturday, the Len Cup qualifying tournament will be played at the Poljud pool, and the Croatian Swimming Championship will also be held.

On Sunday, the final day of the event, a millennium photograph will be taken by Šime Strikoman at 5:30 pm, and at 6 pm, a festive parade of the Split sports clubs will follow. The Split Sports Federation awards will also be presented: the Fabjan Kaliterna Lifetime Achievement Award, commemorative awards for clubs celebrating anniversaries of more than 50 years since their foundation, and memorial medal winners of the Mediterranean Games. The celebration will conclude with a concert and fireworks.

You can read more about the 8th Mediterranean Games here.

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

Saturday, 30 June 2018

Mediterranean Games: Croatia Handball Team Defeats Spain for Place in Final!

Croatia and Tunisia will play in the final of the Mediterranean Games on Sunday, July 1. 

Friday, 29 June 2018

Sandra Perković Wins Second Gold for Croatia at Mediterranean Games!

Sandra Perković has won the second gold medal for Croatia at the Mediterranean Games in Tarragona, Spain.