Sunday, 1 August 2021

Tonči Stipanović Wins Olympic Silver Sailing Medal!

August 1, 2021 - After winning the silver medal in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, Croatian sailor Tonči Stipanović won his second Olympic silver medal today in Tokyo!

The ten best sailors competed for medals, and among them was the Croatian silver medalist from Rio de Janeiro, who came in third with 74 negative points, only three more than the second-placed Norwegian Hermann Tomasgaard. In the end, he climbed a step higher and won another Olympic silver!

Gold was secured by Australian Matt Wearn before the medal race.

The Mornar Split member had a great start and was holding silver until the first turn, but then after turning the buoy in sailing down the wind, he fell to fourth place. But in the third section with the wind, he came among the leaders again. In a fantastic finish, Tonči entered the finish line fourth, winning silver with a total of 82 negative points.

"It was very difficult, somehow I lost constantly during the regatta after a very good start. I was not satisfied with the speed and I sailed the first stern very badly, i.e., down the wind on the right side I was completely windless and the Norwegian passed there. Luckily Pavlos was still behind, but finding the penultimate or pen-penultimate one is not very good. At that moment, I couldn't even count what happened to the others or if someone was behind me or maybe passing me so I stayed focused on my sailing and after I came to the second buoy I said to myself ‘now I’m going left to the stern, stay calm, sail as I know and it will surely be good," said Stipanović or HRT.

Australian Wearn took the gold with 53 negative points and bronze Norwegian Thomasgaard collected 85 negative points.

"Paris 2024? It’s going to be really hard, I’m getting older and older. I’ll sit down and think about what to do next, I’m not sure yet, maybe I’ll decide to get ready for Paris as well. We'll see," the two-time Olympic runner-up concluded.

Source; HRT

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Saturday, 31 July 2021

Discus Queen Sandra Perković Qualifies for Olympic Final on Monday!

July 31, 2021 - Croatian athlete and Discus Queen Sandra Perković set the best result of the A group of discus qualifications at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, and the third overall to place in the final, which is scheduled for Monday. The second Croatian representative, Marija Tolj, missed the final by four centimeters.

Discus Queen Sandra Perković is looking for her third consecutive Olympic title in Tokyo after London 2012 and Rio de Janeiro 2016. With a throw of 63.75 meters, Sandra was third overall in the qualifiers. The best was the American Valarie Allman with 66.42 meters, while Indian Kamalpreet Kaur was second with 63.97, reports HRT.

Sandra already threw. 63.75 meters in the opening, which was only 25 centimeters shorter than the qualifying norm. The Croatian champion was in an excellent mood at the Olympic Stadium; she even danced after her successful throw. However, she had faulty shots in the second series and the third.

"I am happy that I threw almost to the norm in the first shot. I thought it was probably 64 meters, and that's why I danced, but it's still enough. The circle is slippery and not exactly what suits me; I hate them the most because I'm not a savage but a technician. But, I'm so ready I could throw on the ice. The other two shots were underhand," said Sandra, who also complained about the organization.

"It's awful. 130 people train on just one lap in just an hour and a half. So I threw only seven shots in training, and in normal conditions, I throw about a hundred shots. And they didn't even let me into the stadium for the first few days due to quarantine. We complained, of course, that they did not satisfy us. And Americans go to training every day, the four of them go to a special area and have all the time in the world. But it doesn’t matter. I will wait until Monday night," said Sandra, who is awaiting her third Olympic final and hunt for her third consecutive Olympic gold on Monday.

German Kristin Pudenz threw only two centimeters less than Sandra in Group A, while Dutch Jorinde van Klinken threw 61.15, taking 14th place, leaving her without the final in which the 12 best were placed. A big surprise is the terrible performance of Cuban Deina Caballero, who was only 23rd with 57.96.

"Van Klinken threw 70 meters without any problems, and there is barely 61. I am sorry for Caballero; I love her, even though she took my title in 2015. These are the qualifications; I do not want to fail anyone. It is easier to throw at a rally in Pusca Gora than to throw at this huge and empty stadium at the Olympic Games," said Sandra.

Unfortunately, no other Croatian representative in the final after Marija Tolj took the unfortunate 13th place. With 61.48 cm, she was only four centimeters behind the 12th Brazilian Isabel da Silva. In her first Olympic appearance, Orebić threw 54.76, in the second 61.48, while the third shot went to 60.63 meters.

"I am not disappointed; I am satisfied because I threw over 60 meters at my first Olympic Games. A little trepidation took my toll on the first shot, but I’m happy with 61.48 in the second. I didn’t miss the audience because I love when there’s no one; I’m that type. So everything is fine for me; the only thing is that I managed to break the cardboard bed in the Olympic Village, it tilted to one side, so I had to collect it. Yes, I am alone in the room," 21-year-old Tolj said with calm and, apparently, not at all disappointed.

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Saturday, 31 July 2021

Olympic Games: Masterful Croatia Beats Serbia in Game 4 (14:12)

July 31, 2021 - A masterful Croatia beats Serbia in the crucial game 4 of Group B at the Olympic Games in Tokyo! Croatia has confirmed their spot in the quarterfinals. 

After opening with a win against Kazakhstan (23:7), unexpected defeat to Australia (8:11), and victory against Montenegro (13:8), Croatia and Serbia met in game 4 of Group B. It was a replay of the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games final. The Barracudas then won silver, losing the final 7:11. Croatia and Serbia also met at the 2008 Beijing Games, and the 2nd round match went to the Barracudas at 11:8.

The last time these two national teams met was in June 2019 in the final of the World League in Belgrade, in which Serbia celebrated 12:11.

After Serbia, Croatia closes out Group B with the toughest opponent yet - top-of-the-table Spain. 

1st Quarter

Croatia won the sprint for the first attack, in which Joković scored for 1:0. Joković scored for 2:0 Croatia with 6:16 on the clock. An absolutely brilliant start for Croatia saw Bušlje score 45 seconds later for 3:0! 


Slobodan Kadic 

Serbia scored its first goal with 5 minutes to go in the 1st quarter. 

Lončar scored on a quick counterattack for 4:1 Croatia with 4:06 to go. Bijač was brilliant in the goal to save Serbia's next attack. Obradović made it 5:1 with 2:30 left on the clock. 


Slobodan Kadic 

The 1st quarter ended 5:3 for Croatia.  

2nd Quarter

Serbia's Filipović opened the 2nd with a goal for -1 (5:4.) Bijač saved the following three Serbia attacks to keep Croatia in the lead at 5:4. 

Obradović scored his second goal of the match to increase Croatia's lead to 6:4 with 1:26 left on the clock. The 2nd quarter ended at 6:4 for Croatia. 

3rd Quarter

Vukičević opened the 3rd quarter with an excellent goal for Croatia and a +3 lead (7:4).  Serbia came behind by just one goal with 4:32 to go in the 3rd (7:6), but Joković scored 15 seconds later to give Croatia a better advantage (8:6). 


Slobodan Kadic 

Serbia equalized at 8:8 with 2:48 on the clock.  Obradović was on fire, scoring his 3rd goal of the game to put Croatia back in the lead with just over 2 minutes to go (9:8). 

Luka Bukić made it 10:8 for Croatia with 1:23 on the clock, which was the final score of the 3rd quarter. 

4th Quarter 

Luka Bukić scored his second goal of the game and second consecutive in the game for 11:8 Croatia with 7:44 left in the game. Bijač and Croatia's defense denied Serbia's next attack. The unstoppable Obradović scored for 12:8 Croatia with 6:17 on the clock! 

Bukić brought calm to Croatia with a goal for 13:9 with 5 minutes to go, and Joković scored for 14:9 with 4:16 left! Serbia came back slightly at -3 for 14:11 with 2:13 to go. 

Bijač saved a rocket from Mandić with a minute and a half left, but Serbia scored for -2 (14:12) with 1:11 left in the match. Croatia denied Serbia's final attack to win the game 14:12! 


Slobodan Kadic 

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Friday, 30 July 2021

Tonči Stipanović Among Top 10 Sailors in Olympic Medal Race on Sunday!

July 30, 2021 - Tonči Stipanović will enter the race for an Olympic medal in the Laser class from 3rd place! On Sunday at 7:33 am Croatia time, he will have the opportunity to win his second medal at the Olympic Games after winning silver in Rio de Janeiro.

The top ten sailors in the class will sail in the medal race, reports Sportske Novosti.

The Mornar Split sailor has 74 negative points, three more than the second-placed Norwegian Hermann Tomasgaard and two less than the Cypriot Pavlos Contides, otherwise a club colleague. The gold has already been secured by Australian Matt Wearn, he is the successor of compatriot Tom Burton. Tomasgaard, Stipanović, and Kontides will try to secure two spots on the podium in a regatta in which the points are doubled (2, 4, 6, 8...). Every other sailor is quite far away - German Philipp Bühl in 5th place has 85 negative points.

The last two regattas that sailed on Friday proved to be very interesting. Stipanović recorded results of 7 and 10. Through the second regatta, he climbed from 21st place in the first turn, but the key thing was the big drop of Kontides (24), as well as Tomasgaard (19) in the first voyage. In the same way, the legendary Brazilian Robert Scheidt (24, 16) dropped out of the medal competition, falling to 6th place.

Sunday will be another great day for Croatian sport, as the 35-year-old from Split will have the opportunity to climb the Olympic podium for the second time!

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Friday, 30 July 2021

All-Croatian Olympic Doubles Final: Pavić and Mektić Take Gold, Čilić and Dodig Silver!

July 30, 2021 - Mate Pavić and Nikola Mektić have taken the gold medal in the all-Croatian Olympic doubles final against Marin Čilić and Ivan Dodig! 

Croatia increased its collection of medals at the Olympic Games in Tokyo today by winning both the gold and silver in the final of the tennis doubles tournament, in which Mate Pavić and Nikola Mektić, and Marin Čilić and Ivan Dodig met on Friday. 

First seed Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić reached the finals with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over the USA's Austin Krajicek and Tennys Sandgren, while Čilić and Dodig defeated New Zealand's Michael Venus and Marcus Daniello 6-2, 6-2.

Only for the third time in Olympic history, but for the first time in more than 100 years, doubles teams from the same country played in the men’s doubles final. So far, tennis players from the same country have played in the men's doubles final only twice - Great Britain in 1908 in London and team USA in 1904 in St. Louis.

The more dominant and well-coordinated Mektić and Pavić won the first set 6-4, though Čilić and Dodig came back fierce in the second with a break to win it 6-4.

The decision fell in a super tie-break that Mektić and Pavić opened with a furious 6:0. Čilić and Dodig managed to get closer at 8:6, but the best tennis pair in the world took the next two points for the Olympic gold. 


Slobodan Kadic

After winning eight ATP tournaments in their first season playing together, the most important of which is Wimbledon, Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić are the Olympic champions and justified their status as the first seed of the tournament. 


Slobodan Kadic

Thus, the fourth and fifth medals in the history of Croatian tennis at the Olympic Games were officially won. The first two were won in 1992 in Barcelona when Goran Ivanišević won bronze in singles and doubles with Goran Prpić. Mario Ančić and Ivan Ljubičić also took bronze in Athens in 2004.


Slobodan Kadic

Croatia is now on six Olympic medals in Tokyo. Gold went to Matea Jelić, Martin and Valent Sinković, and Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić. Ivan Dodig and Marin Čilić are the first silver Croatian athletes from Tokyo, and Toni Kanaet and Damir Martin won bronze. 


Slobodan Kadic

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Friday, 30 July 2021

Damir Martin Wins Olympic Rowing Bronze Medal in Tokyo!

July 30, 2021 - Damir Martin increases Croatia's medal count in Tokyo to 4 with an Olympic rowing bronze medal in single sculls!

Croatian rower Damir Martin won the bronze medal in single sculls at the Olympic Games in Tokyo! The gold was won by the Greek rower Stefanos Ntouskos, and the silver by Norwegian rower Kjetil Borch.

Martin paddled the final very tactically. In the middle of the race, he was about two seconds behind the leading trio, and alongside Ntouskos and Borch, Denmark's Sverri Nielsen was at the top. The situation was similar 500 meters before the finish. But in the very end, Nielsen started to give up, and Martin stepped up and passed the finish line 15 seconds before for another big medal.

It is the third Olympic medal for 33-year-old Martin, after the silver in the quadruple sculls from London in 2012 and the silver in the singles from Rio de Janeiro in 2016. He also has two world titles in the quadruple sculls (2010, 2013) and two European gold in singles (2015, 2016).

"This medal is not bronze; this is platinum for me," said Martin after winning the bronze medal.

"Jesus, it began with an emotionally and completely drained guy from Vukovar, who, after hip surgery and a long rehabilitation, was not considered a favorite for the finals, let alone a medal.

Thank you to my family, thank you to my coach Srećko Šuk who never gave up on me, and especially thank you to Pero Kuterovac, who was with me every time and pushed me. Thanks also to you media who have been with me in these five years when I couldn’t make it to the top," Martin began.

"This has been going on all five years, not just this race and everything going on around me. If the Olympics were last year, I would have performed, but it would have been more recreational. I had a bad start; by no means did I feel comfortable in this boat, and even after the quarterfinals, we made drastic changes to the boat, which is not normally done. Luckily, we set it up perfectly, but the start was awful. Halfway down the track, I told myself that if there was a photo finish, I knew where I had lost. In the end, I was very close to the Norwegian and another silver. But I won’t complain about the bronze. In fact, this is not bronze for me; this is platinum," Marin said. 

Source: HRT

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Thursday, 29 July 2021

Gold Medal Match Between Croatian Players for the First Time Ever!

July 29, 2021 - Historic! An unthinkable and spectacular event has happened today not only in Croatian sports history but also in the Olympic Games. Mate Pavić and Nikola Mektić have won today and there will be a Gold Medal Match between Croatian players in Tokyo 2020!

The morning got off to a great start for Croatia at the Olympics, after the couple Marin Cilić and Ivan Dodig beat their New Zealand rivals in the semi-final, thus securing at least one medal for their country. But in recent days, everyone was closely following the fact that two pairs of Croatian tennis players reached the semifinals, as the brand-new champions of the doubles category at Wimbledon, Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić, had also managed to reach those instances.

With the four Croatian tennis players in the semifinals, a bronze medal was already confirmed for the Croatian delegation. But with today's victory for Cilić and Dodig (6-2, 6-2) over their New Zealand counterparts Daniell and Venus, Croatia had already secured at least one silver medal. Even before it happened, everyone was wondering, "What if there was a final between Croats?".

And that's how it went from imagination to reality. Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić defeated their American rivals Krajicek and Sandgren (6-4, 6-4), and Croatia thus secured a gold and silver medal in tennis in the doubles category, in what will be an unprecedented and exciting Croatian Gold Medal match in a tennis final.

To reach the grand final, Mektić and Pavić had to beat Brazilians Demoliner and Merlo in a close match (7-6, 6-4) in the first round. They then beat the Italians Musetti and Sonego in the second round, also in a difficult match (7-5, 6-7, 10-7). This earned them qualification for the quarterfinals, where they beat the locals McLachlan and Nishikori (6-3, 6-3). At this point, the dream of the Olympic medal was already approaching, with the Croatian tennis players in the semifinals. Today they beat Americans Austin Krajicek and Tennys Sandgren 6-4 in both sets, in a match that lasted 1 hour and 21 minutes.

Mektić and Pavić, the best tennis pair of today, have 51 victories and only five defeats this year. They both arrived in Tokyo as the recent champions of the Wimbledon doubles tournament this month.

Croatian sport reaches a historic moment with the first tennis doubles final between Croatian players, something that, although it is not the first time in the history of the Olympic Games, happened only in 1904 between American players and for the last time four years later, in 1908 between British players. So it has been 113 years since this incredible gold medal match feat was not attested.

The game is scheduled for tomorrow, and although the exact time is not yet confirmed, it is believed that it will be played around 8, after the bronze match between New Zealanders and Americans.

It is true that, although four Croatian tennis players will compete for first place, only two of them will be able to win the long-awaited gold medal. However, it can be said from now on that, regardless of the result, it is a historic moment and a great joy for Croatian tennis and sport in general. Congratulations to Mate Pavić, Marin Cilić, Nikola Mektić, and Ivan Dodig for the success!

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Thursday, 29 July 2021

Damir Martin into Olympic Single Sculls Rowing Final in Tokyo!

July 29,  2021 - Damir Martin has secured a spot in the Olympic single sculls rowing final in Tokyo! 

After winning the silver in single sculls from Rio de Janeiro in 2016, Croatian rower Damir Martin advanced to the final of the Olympic Games in Tokyo!

Martin took second place in his semifinal group behind the excellent Norwegian Kjetil Borch, and ahead of Lithuanian Mindaugas Grškonis.

Already after about 200 meters, Martin took second place. In the first pass he was 94 hundredths behind Borch, in the middle of the race he was 97 hundredths behind, and 500 meters before the finish 1.28 seconds. In the end, Borch was up 2.35 seconds. Martin's placement among the top six was never in question at any point.

With this success, Martin completed a great day for Croatia rowing in Tokyo. Earlier on Thursday, brothers Valent and Martin Sinković became Olympic champions in coxless pairs!

This is the third Olympic medal for the Sinković brothers in the third different discipline. In 2012, they won silver in the quadruple sculls in London, when Martin was also in the boat with them, and in 2016 in London, they won gold in the double sculls. 

Martin, Borch, and Grishkonis in the A final, which is scheduled on Friday at 2:45 am Croatian time, are joined by Greek rower Stefanos Ntoukousis, who achieved the best time in the semifinals, Dane Sverri Nielsen, and Russian Alexander Vyazovkin, while the big favorite German Oliver Zeidler was left without the final as he entered the finish line fourth.

"I am satisfied with my placement in the finals, but certainly not with rowing. I struggled with maintaining direction, the wind carried me to the buoys, and I dragged four or five. If it weren't for that, I would have managed to get the Norwegian rower with a minimum delay. I'm ready like a dragon. I've paddled a race like this, even though I was dragging buoys behind me. I am really ready," said Martin. 

Source: HRT

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Thursday, 29 July 2021

Croatia Tops Montenegro in Game 3 of Olympic Games in Tokyo (13:8)

July 29, 2021 - Croatia tops Montenegro in Game 3 of the Olympic Games in Toyko (13:8)!

Croatia water polo met Montenegro in the third round match of the Olympic Games in Tokyo on Thursday. 

Ivica Tucak's side started the competition with a huge victory against Kazakhstan but surprisingly lost to Australia in game two. Croatia must now look for points against tougher opponents - Montenegro is followed by tough matches against Serbia and Spain.

1st Quarter

Miloš scored Croatia's first goal to equalize with 5:39 left on the clock. The next 3 minutes saw neither team score, with counter fouls committed on both sides. Lončar finally hit the post with just over 2 minutes to go, but the game remained 1:1. Garcia missed a good chance with less than a minute left. The 1st quarter ended at 1:1. 

2nd Quarter

Croatia and Montenegro both missed goals in their opening attacks but Bukić finally put Croatia in the lead for 2:1 with 6:42 to go. A Fatović rocket made it +2 for Croatia with 6 minutes left! Another incredible reaction followed as Bušlje tapped in his first goal for the 4:1 lead.

Fatović was on fire and scored his second goal for 2:5 with 3:44 to go. Fatović scored again for 6:3 with less than 2 minutes on the clock. 

Obradović made it 7:4 with an extra-man goal with less than a minute in the 2nd. The 2nd quarter finished 7:5 for Croatia. 

3rd Quarter

Garcia opened the 3rd quarter with a goal for 8:5 and scored another rocket for 9:6 with less than three minutes to go! Luka Lončar scored his first goal of the match for 10:7 with less than 2 minutes on the clock. Luka Bukić made it 11:8 to end the 3rd quarter. 

4th Quarter

Vukičević scored for 12:8 Croatia to open the final quarter, and scored again for 13:8 with just over 2 minutes to go in the game! Bijač was brilliant in goal to keep Croatia in the lead with less than a minute on the clock. The game ended 13:8 for Croatia! 

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Thursday, 29 July 2021

Sinković Brothers Take Rowing Olympic Gold Medal in Tokyo!

July 29, 2021 - The Sinković brothers have done it again - they have won the rowing Olympic gold medal in Tokyo!

The celebrated Valent and Martin Sinković have won the Olympic gold in the coxless pairs discipline at the Olympic Games in Tokyo!

The Sinković brothers started strongly in their style from the start and immediately took the lead. After 500 meters, they had a 1.16-second advantage over Denmark and more than two seconds over the other four crews. In the middle of the race, the Sinković brothers were already a boat's length in front of the first runners-up, Romania, and Denmark, and held that advantage until the last 200 meters.

In the very end, the excellent Romania team of Marius Cozmiuc and Ciprian Tudosa managed to get closer, but the Sinković brothers attacked and passed the finish line with a 1.29-second advantage. The bronze was won by Denmark's Frederic Vystavel and Joachim Sutton.

This is the third Olympic medal for the Sinković brothers in the third different discipline, after the silver in the quadruple sculls from London 2012 and the gold in the doubles sculls from Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

The Sinković brothers reached a new triumph with convincing victories in all three of their appearances in Tokyo, starting on Saturday in the qualifiers, continuing on Wednesday in the semifinals, and finishing the job on Thursday in the finals.

This is the second gold for Croatia in Tokyo, three days after taekwondo fighter Matea Jelić was the best in the category up to 67 kilograms.

"I don't know what to say smartly, we said everything on the track. The race is exactly as we imagined. We got Romania every time they tried to catch up with us," said Martin Sinković.

Valent added:

"Romania tested us to the limit. They set off before we thought of an attack, at 1000 meters already, we let them in a bit, and then at 750, we hit all the way so they didn’t feel blood. The last 200 we did the work, we said we wouldn’t breathe."

"We wanted to cross the finish line first and we achieved that. We made history, we made history with the world’s first gold, and now we’re still up," said Martin.

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