Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Olympic Games: Čilić and Dodig into Doubles Semifinals in Tokyo!

July 28, 2021 - Croatia's Marin Čilić and Ivan Dodig have advanced to the tennis doubles semifinals in Tokyo! 

Marin Čilić and Ivan Dodig defeated Great Britan's Andy Murray / Joe Salisbury 4-6, 7-6 (2), 10-7 after two hours and 15 minutes of play at the Ariaki Center on Wednesday. 

Čilić and Dodig 6:4 lost in the first, and after winning the first, the British duo broke in the second as well. Murray and Salisbury looked better on the court and led 4:2, but in the eighth game, the Croatian side broke and returned to the game. 

In the tie-break of the second set, Čilić and Dodig played excellently and won the third set with three mini-breaks. Čilić and Dodig used the second match point to win the match and advance to the semifinals. 

In the semifinals, Čilić and Dodig will play against New Zealand's Michael Venus and Marcus Daniell. They knocked out the favored Colombian side, Cabal and Farah.

Two Croatian doubles teams are still playing today - Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić, and Ivan Dodig and Darija Jurak in mixed doubles.

If Mektić and Pavić win their match, Croatia will certainly have at least a bronze medal in tennis, because, in case of defeat, both Croatian teams would meet in the semifinal in the bronze medal fight. Mektić and Pavić play against Japan's McLachlan and Nishikori.

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Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Preparations Underway in Knin to Welcome Home Olympic Gold Medalist Matea Jelić

July 27, 2021 - Olympic gold medalist Matea Jelić should expect a welcome reception in her hometown of Knin upon returning from the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Taekwondo fighter Matea Jelić defeated Great Britain's Lauren Williams in the taekwondo gold medal fight at the Olympic Games in Tokyo on Monday, reports

"We are excited and overjoyed because of our Mateja. The whole town watched the fight for gold, but, unfortunately, due to epidemiological measures, we could not organize a joint gathering. However, every house in Knin was with her today," Knin Mayor Marijo Ćaćić told Index, euphoric about the great success of 23-year-old Mateja Jelić from Knin, who defeated Great Britain's Lauren Williams in a dramatic taekwondo final and achieved the greatest success of Croatian taekwondo.

While she is a member of TK Marjan Split today, she made her first steps in the Knin club DIV.

"I am proud of the results we achieve, as well as the great work and effort invested by our coaches and athletes. Mateja's medal is not accidental, and Knin did not accidentally win a gold medal at the Olympics. Congratulations to the professional team from Split Marjan, who continued what started here in Knin. Mateja decided to go to Split to college, and it was logical for her to continue her career in the most trophy-winning club. Marjan Split is celebrating two medals today; we must not forget Toni Kanaet, whom I congratulate on this occasion. I can't even describe how I feel; this is wonderful, although I have to say that we are already used to Mateja's successes. She delighted us eight years ago when she became a junior world champion. She is our queen of Knin. I tried to get her parents, but mother Ljiljana does not want to be in the media; she told me that this is just Mateja's day," the mayor of Knin told Index.

It is known that Matea dreams of a welcome reception in Knin with an Olympic medal around her neck, and Ćaćić confirmed that her dream would surely come true.

"We will prepare a reception for her following epidemiological measures. The situation in Knin is good so far; today, we have no new cases of infection, but only a few people from the same family who contracted COVID-19 earlier. As soon as I contact Mateja's family, we will agree on all details around the reception. We are expecting it in a couple of days, and it will be something special," said the mayor of Knin.

Mateja was accompanied throughout her career by Šibenik-Knin County Prefect Marko Jelić.

"Today, everyone knows who Matea Jelić is and what her name is. Of course, I say it a bit jokingly, but I know very well how much effort she put into getting to the top step of the podium. 

I have known her since she was a child; she went to school with my daughter. She is a top girl, completely focused on what she wants to achieve. Behind her, believe me, is a lot of sacrifices, but she has achieved the goal she set. I'm proud of her. I did not doubt that she would take an Olympic medal one day, and I believed it would be gold. She didn't surprise me at all; I was just afraid that some injury would burden her," Jelić told Index and added:

"Her success means a lot to our Knin. Whoever comes to our city feels love for it, but we who live here feel a little different today. Matea is the European champion, today she is also an Olympic winner and can choose where to spend her free time and create her life. However, she finds her peace in Knin, at the Krčić waterfall. She knows that we were all with her, from the first steps to the Olympic podium," Jelić concluded.

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Monday, 26 July 2021

Matea Jelić Wins Taekwondo Olympic Gold Medal!

July 26, 2021 - Taekwondo fighter Matea Jelić defeated Great Britain's Lauren Williams in the finals of the 67 kg category at the Olympic Games in Tokyo!

It was the duel of the last two European champions in this category - Jelić won gold in Sofia this year, and Williams won gold three years ago in Kazan.

In the uncertain final, the result was 13-13 entering the final minute, but then Williams with two kicks to the body reached an advantage of 17-13. It was 21-15 for Williams until 15 seconds before the end when Jelić managed to reach colossal success with three kicks to the head.

This is the fourth medal for Croatia in the women's taekwondo competition. Before Jelić, bronze medals were won by Sandra Šarić and Martina Zubčić in Beijing in 2008, Lucija Zaninović in London in 2012, and Toni Kanaet earlier on Monday in Tokyo.

TK Marjan Split thus achieved incredible success today in Tokyo! Jelić's gold is the greatest success for Croatian taekwondo at the Olympic Games.

In her first appearance in Tokyo, Jelić defeated Haitian Lauren Lee 22-2, in the quarterfinals Brazilian Milena Titonelli 30-9, and secured a medal with a 15-4 victory against American Paige McPherson in the semis. 

More soon...

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Monday, 26 July 2021

Toni Kanaet Wins Taekwondo Bronze at Olympic Games in Tokyo!

July 26, 2021 - Croatia's Toni Kanaet wins the taekwondo bronze in Tokyo!

Croatian taekwondo fighter Toni Kanaet (25) won the bronze medal at the Olympic Games, defeating Uzbek fighter Nikita Rafalovich 24-18 in the category of up to 80 kilograms!

After a tied first round that ended 6-6, Kanaet gained a 15-8 advantage in the second. Rafalovich reduced the lead to 15-10 with two punches at the beginning of the third round, and when Rafalovich went for all or nothing, Kanaet punished him with two punches and one to the head to secure the victory.

In the first part of the competition, Kanaet defeated Spain's Raul Martinez Garcia 21-15, only to lose in the quarterfinals to the later Russian finalist Maxim Hramchev with a break after the second round.

By passing Hramchev to the final, Kanaet got the opportunity to fight for the bronze through a rematch. He first overpowered Burkina Faso Faysala Sawadoga with a break at the start of the third round due to too large a difference in points. At the time of the break, it was 30-10 for Kanaet.

This is the first men's Olympic medal for Croatia in taekwondo!

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Monday, 26 July 2021

Croatia Tennis at Olympic Games: Vekić into 3rd Round, Čilić Out, Mektić and Pavić in Quarters!

July 26, 2021 - Croatia tennis at Olympic Games - Donna Vekić moves to the 3rd round, Čilić has been eliminated from the singles tournament, and Mektić and Pavić are in the quarterfinals! 

Croatian tennis player Donna Vekić advanced to the round of 16 of the Olympic Games in Tokyo after defeating the third-best tennis player in the world, Belarusian Arina Sabalenka, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (3) in the 2nd round match. 

After two hours and 40 minutes, Vekić achieved a great victory, winning a place in the round of 16, where she will face Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina, against whom she has not yet played.

"Yes, proud of both yesterday's and today's match. Aryna is playing the best tennis ever this year, she is third in the world and it is not easy to beat her, she even led in the third set. But I fought like a lioness and finally won," said Donna, who spent nearly five and a half hours in two matches in Tokyo, in the scorching sun and unbearable conditions.

In the fight for the quarterfinals, Vekić will face Rybakina.

"We have never played or trained, so I don't know her. We will do an analysis and get ready," said Donna. 

Marin Čilić was eliminated in the 2nd round of the singles tournament. He was defeated by Pablo Carreno Busta 5:7, 6:4, 6:4.

The Spaniard, currently the 11th player in the world, celebrated for the first time against the Croatian, who is 38th in the ATP rankings.

Čilić took the first set (7:5), but Busta proved his excellent form, which he showed by winning the tournament in Hamburg last week, with a turnaround and a victory.

Čilić's only victory in singles at the Games in Tokyo remained the one he barely won in the first round, after three and a half hours, against Joao Menezes, the 267th player in the world.

However, Čilić remains in Tokyo in the doubles tournament with Ivan Dodig.

Croatian tennis players Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić reached the doubles quarterfinals of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, defeating Italy's Lorenzo Musetti / Lorenzo Sonego 7:5, 6:7 (5) 10:7 after just over two hours of play.

In the quarterfinals, they will play against Japan's Ben McLachlan / Kei Nishikori, who defeated Great Britain's Murray / Skupski 6:3, 6:4 in the round of 16 after one hour and 21 minutes of play.

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Monday, 26 July 2021

Taekwondo at Olympic Games: Matea Jelić in Semis!

July 26, 2021 - Croatia taekwondo national team member Matea Jelić is close to winning a medal at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in the category up to 67 kilograms!

The world champion in this category advanced to the semifinals with a 30-0 victory against Brazilian Milena Titoneli, reports HRT.

Jelić started the fight well, leading 7-1, only for Titoneli to return to 7-6 by the end of the first round. However, in the second round, the 23-year-old from Knin dominated, got to 20-9, and in the third round, increased her advantage to the final 30-9.

Jelić will have the first opportunity to secure a medal in the semifinals at 9:00 Croatia time, when she will fight against American Paige McPherson in the semifinals. In case of defeat in the semifinals, Jelić will have a chance to win bronze in the rematch in the afternoon.

Toni Kanaet in the category up to 80 kg failed to reach the semifinals, losing to Russian Maxim Hramchev in the quarterfinals who led 22-0 after two rounds. The duel was interrupted due to too large a difference in points. After the first round, it was only 3-0 for the Russian, but at the beginning of the second, the Russian very quickly won eight points and practically finished. 

Kanaet is now left to hope that Kramchev will qualify for the finals and thus offer him the opportunity to win bronze through the repechage.

In other Olympic news, Croatian canoeist Matija Marinić failed to qualify for the wildwater slalom finals at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Marinić achieved the 11th time in the semifinals, and the fight for the medal includes the fastest 10. Marinić missed the placement in the finals by 2.12 seconds.

Croatian boxer Nikolina Ćaćić was defeated in the round of 16 in the 57-kilogram category. Canadian Caroline Veyre was better.

Croatian table tennis player Tomislav Pucar said goodbye to the Olympic tournament after losing to Slovenian Bojan Tokić 0-4 (9-11, 8-11, 9-11, 10-12).

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Sunday, 25 July 2021

Boxing at Olympic Games: Luka Plantić Joins Nikolina Ćaćić in 2nd Round!

July 25, 2021 - Luka Plantić made sure that the small Croatian boxing delegation maintained a clean sheet at the Olympic Games in Tokyo after his first competition, where he defeated Jordanian Odai Riyad Adel Al Hindawi in a light heavyweight bout by a split decision (3-2).

Plantić thus joined Nikolina Ćaćić in the second round of the Olympic boxing tournament, but in a significantly different way.

The Croatian boxer was more restrained in the first round, which the judges scored (2-3) in favor of the Jordanian fighter. In the second round, Al Hindawi waited longer for counterattack opportunities and tried to keep Plantić at a distance, but the judges rewarded Plantić's greater activity (3-2).

In the third round, especially towards the end of the fight, both fighters ran out of strength which affected the accuracy and strength of the punches. Plantić was more aggressive again and perhaps that was the impression that ruled.

Namely, the Russian and Algerian scoring judges gave Plantić an advantage in all three rounds, the Moroccan and the Korean scored the same fight in favor of the Jordanian boxer, and the Argentine judge prevailed, giving the first round to Al Hindawi, and the second and third to the Croatian fighter, who was given the opportunity to continue on his way to the Olympic medal.

Rogelio Romero Torres, a 26-year-old Mexican who was free in the first round, is waiting for him on that trip on Wednesday, July 28, at 1:12 PM CET.

Source: HRT

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Sunday, 25 July 2021

Water Polo at Olympic Games: Easy Win for Brilliant Croatia against Kazakhstan in Game 1 (23:7)

July 25, 2021 - It was an easy win for Croatia against Kazakhstan in their Olympic opener on Sunday in Tokyo. 

Croatia water polo opened its Olympic campaign against Kazakhstan on Sunday at 12:50 Croatia time. Ivica Tuck's team was the clear favorite to win the match, which they convincingly showed. 

Croatia lineup:

Marko Bijač, Marko Macan, Loren Fatović, Luka Lončar, Maro Joković, Luka Bukić, Ante Vukičević, Andro Bušlje, Lovre Milos, Josip Vrlić, Paulo Obradović, Javier Garcia Gadea

1st Quarter

Croatia opened with a goal by Maro Joković with 6:48 to go in the 1st quarter and Bijač defended Kazakhstan's attack straight after. Luka Bukić scored Croatia's second goal for 2:0 with 4:23 to go. 

Fatović scored from 5 meters to make it 3:0 with 3:33 to go. Garcia scored Croatia's 4th goal for 4:0 with less than a minute to go. Kazakhstan's scored their first goal for 4:1 with 22 seconds left. Croatia closed out the 1st quarter 4:1.

2nd Quarter

Luka Bukić scored his second goal for 5:1 at 6:49. Kazakhstan made it 5:2 20 seconds later. Obradović sored from the outside for 6:2.

Luka Bukić nailed the goal for a third time with 3:24 to go (7:3), and again for 8:3. Joković scored from 5 meters for +5 (9:4). 

Fatović scored Croatia's 10th goal for 10:4 with 6 seconds to go, which was the final score of the quarter. 

3rd Quarter 

Vrlić scored for 11:4 to open the 3rd quarter and again for 12:4 seconds later! Croatia was in a very comfortable lead. Garcia scored for 13:4 before Maro Joković nailed a rocket (and potential goal of the tournament contender) for 14:4. Joković scored his 4th goal for 15:4 with 2:38 left.

Obradović scored his second goal of the match for an impressive Croatia lead of 16:4. Vrlić made it +12 (17:5) with less than a minute to go. Vukičević made it 18:5 to end the 3rd quarter. 

4th Quarter

Miloš scored to open the final quarter at 19:5. Croatia's received its third penalty of the game with 6:18 to go in the game. Obradović scored with ease for 20:6. 

Fatović scored for 21:6 with 5:25 left. Joković scored his 5th goal of the game as Croatia's best scorer with 3 minutes to go (22:6).  Bijač saved a Kazakhstan penalty with 2 minutes left. 

Macan scored his first goal of the match with a minute left (23:7). Andro Bušlje and goalkeeper Bijač were the only Croatia players left to score. 

Croatia had the final attack of the match and was unable to score. The match ended 23:7 for Croatia! 

Croatia will play Australia next. The match is scheduled for Tuesday at 12:50 pm. 

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Sunday, 25 July 2021

Croatia Tennis at Olympic Games: Donna Vekić into 2nd Round!

July 25, 2021 - Croatia tennis at Olympic Games - Donna Vekić is into the 2nd round after defeating French tennis player Caroline Garcia!

Donna Vekić (WTA 47th) advanced to the second round of the Olympic tournament with a 6-2, 6-7, 6-3 victory over French tennis player Caroline Garcia (WTA 73rd). This was their ninth match and the fifth victory for the Osijek tennis player. In the next round, Vekic will play against the third-best player in the world, Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, reports

Vekić won the first set convincingly with 6-2, with a first-serve percentage of 69%, and had two breaks. In the second set, Vekić's serving dropped below 50%, and Garcia broke at 2-0. However, Vekić managed to return immediately, forcing it into a tie break in which she did not win a single point on her serve. It ended 7-2 for Garcia.

After a 10-minute break between the second and third sets (the decision of the ITF due to the heat), Vekić continued well, broke her opponent, and took a 2-0 lead. However, Garcia immediately returned to 2-2, and at 3-2, Vekić used the third break point for 4-2.

Vekić hit two aces for 5-2. At 5-3, Garcia had a break point to return to the match, but Vekić got away and immediately used the first match point to win after two hours and 50 minutes of play.

Vekić will look for a place in the round of 16 against Belarusian Arina Sabaljenka, who beat Polish player Magda Linette 6:2, 6:1.

Just before the end of today's program, Donna is expecting another performance. In the 1st round of the doubles tournament with Darija Jurak, she plays against team USA's Melichar and Riska.

In other tennis news, Croatia doubles team Ivan Dodig and Marin Čilić defeated Japan's Daniel / Nishioka 6-2, 6-4 in an hour of play without much difficulty. 

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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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