Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Sandra Perković and Josip Glasnović to Hold Croatian Flag at the Olympic Games

June 16, 2021 - 'Discus Queen' Sandra Perkovic and star sports shooter Josip Glasnović will share the Croatian flag at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer! 

The current Olympic winners, athlete Sandra Perković and sports shooter Josip Glasnović will hold the Croatian flag at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Tokyo on July 23, which was decided by the Council of the Croatian Olympic Committee (COC) at its 15th session, held in a regular manner in Zagreb under the chairmanship of COC leader Zlatko Mateša, reports HRT.

In Japan, Perković will defend the Olympic gold from Rio de Janeiro in the discus throw, and Glasnović in trap shooting. 

Five years ago in Rio de Janeiro, the Croatian flag was carried by water polo player Josip Pavić, and before him, it was handball player Venio Losert (2012 London), handball player Ivano Balić (2008 Beijing), water polo player Dubravko Šimenc (2004 Athens), table tennis player Zoran Primorac (2000 Sydney), water polo player Perica Bukić (1996. Atlanta) and tennis player Goran Ivanišević (1992).

In this way, the members of the Council welcomed the decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that, in accordance with the commitment to gender equality in sports, the flag bearers on such occasions should be one athlete each.

According to the report of the Office for the Olympic Program of the Croatian Olympic Committee, the Croatian Olympic delegation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics could have 120 members, and among them, in the most optimistic version (with the basketball team) there could be about 70 Olympians.

The number stopped at 47 athletes, though it could increase to 50 after the official confirmation of the achieved Olympic "visas" by judokas Barbara Matić and Karla Prodan and possibly Ivana Maranić according to the continental quota.

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Friday, 11 June 2021

Discus Queen Sandra Perković Records 43rd Career Diamond League Victory!

Jun 11, 2021 - Great news for the Discus Queen Sandra Perković, who recorded her 43rd Diamond League win in Florence on Friday. The celebrated Sandra is back on top just 40 days before the Olympic Games in Tokyo! 

Sandra Perković returned to the winning track she knows well in the discus throw with a triumph at the Diamond League rally in Florence, reports HRT.

Perković threw the longest shot of 68.31 meters in the second series, but the victory came thanks to a throw of 66.90 meters in the sixth series, considering that according to the new rules, the winners are decided by the first three shots in the sixth series. Sandra reached 67.70 meters in the first series, and she also had three offenses.

About 40 days before the start of the Olympic Games, the Croatian discus thrower is obviously getting back in shape after a break due to a pandemic and injuries. She will be looking for her third consecutive Olympic gold in Tokyo.

Second place in Florence was Cuban Jaime Perez (66.82 m), who was first at the Diamond League rally in Doha, where Perković was only third. Third place in Florence was taken by the German Kristin Prudenz (64.42 m).

The second Croatian representative Marija Tolj came in fourth with a distance of 63.28 meters achieved in the third series.

Croatian record holder in the shot put Filip Mihaljević took fourth place at the Diamond League rally in Florence.

Mihaljevic threw 21.39 meters in the last fifth series, and he also had a shot of 21.28 meters.

A few days ago, Filip broke the Croatian record, which is now 21.94! 

New Zealander Tom Walsh (21.47) celebrated in Florence with a better shot in the sixth series than the Serb Armin Sinancevic (21.60). 

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Sunday, 6 June 2021

First Boxer for Croatia at 2020 Olympic Games: Luka Plantić is Going to Tokyo!

June 6, 2021 - Luka Plantić is the first Croatian boxer to qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo!  

Luka Plantić (24) won a spot in the quarterfinals of the Olympic qualifiers in the light heavyweight category (81 kg) against Irishman Emmat Brennan and became the first Croatian boxer to qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, reports T.portal

Plantić started the match aggressively against the powerful Brennan, and in the first minute, the referee counted on the Irish boxer. The Sesvete fighter kept his advantage until the end, and all five referees gave him their vote and unanimously declared him the winner.

At the beginning of the qualifications in London in 2020, Plantić defeated Austrian seed Umar Dzambekov, and on Friday, broke the Armenian Gora Nersesyan in the first round.

"We worked for this moment for a year and were preparing for the qualifiers. I came fully ready, made great progress, and knew that no one could stop me. The quarterfinals against the Irish boxer was like a World Cup final to me, a lot of pressure, and as I announced - I knew I was a bigger fighter than him and than anyone and that I would prove it. It wasn’t easy; he’s excellent, he didn’t give up all three rounds. I had the strength for a few more rounds, but after the first two, it was clear that I had a big advantage and that I could also save a little for the semi-finals. The fight with Whittaker will be much more relaxed, without pressure, now I will enjoy boxing, and we will celebrate the success upon our return to Croatia," said Luka.

Earlier, Croatian boxer Marko Milun (24) failed to qualify for the Olympic qualifiers quarterfinals in Paris in the super heavyweight category (+91 kg). In the round of 16, Milun lost by unanimous decision of the refs (5-0) to the favorite of the category, Briton Fraser Clarke. The more experienced Clarke managed to impose his style of fighting and used more weight. From such a static, dirty fight with a lot of pushing and wrestling, pulling and holding Milun, Clarke managed to place two strong shots in the first and second rounds, forcing the ref to count Milun twice. On his Facebook profile, the modest athlete from Dicmo, a member of Leonard from Zagreb, realistically assessed the long-awaited fight with the powerful Briton:

"Today marks the end of a major chapter in my life. Everything I did, I did precisely because of this opportunity that I unfortunately missed. As for the fight, I never got away with it, so that I won't do it this time either. We both did our best, and in the heat of the fight, I lost consciousness at the very beginning. I suspect a punctured eardrum, but whatever it is, I was not fully aware of the fight," said Milun.

He is left hoping that he can go to Tokyo through the World Boxing Federation ranking list because only four super heavyweights will qualify directly from Paris, i.e., only the semifinalists.

Nikolina Ćaćić, in the 57 kg category, will fight in the quarterfinals for Tokyo on Sunday, June 6, in the afternoon program.

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Saturday, 15 May 2021

Anamaria Govorčinović Becomes First Female Croatian Canoe-Sprinter to Qualify for Olympics!

May 15, 2021 - Anamaria Govorčinović has become the first female Croatian canoe-sprinter to qualify for the Olympic Games! 

At the canoe-sprint European Olympic qualifications on the calm waters of Szeged, Hungary, Croatian Anamaria Govorčinović achieved the Olympic norm by winning second place in the women's final of the 500-meter single kayak discipline (K-1). The Zagreb club Matija Ljubek member was second with a time of 1:56.70, while the fastest was Spaniard Isabel Contreras (1:56.15), reports HOO

"I still can't believe it. I'm overjoyed. No, I didn’t expect it because there were nine girls in the finals, and they were all quality in a row. I knew the Spaniard and the Portuguese sprinters were favorites, but the three of us somehow separated halfway through. In the end, the nuances, the seconds, decided. The Spaniard was first, me second. I am the first in Croatia to win a place at the Games in this discipline. I hope that Vanessa Tot, who has another chance in a week in Russia, will also succeed," said Anamaria for Vecernji List


"In Zagreb, I am a member of the club Matija Ljubek, and I have great conditions. Preparations, kayaking, and equipment are financed by the Croatian Olympic Committee and the Croatian Kayak Federation. I finished high school in Zagreb, and I am currently studying sports management at Aspira High School. I am in the same group with handball player Marko Mamić who plays in Leipzig," she pointed out.

Among other participating Croatian athletes in the continental qualifications, Vanesa Tot took 9th place in the finals, and kayaker Antun Novaković did not make it to the finals. Tot and Novaković have another chance to win a spot in Tokyo at the world qualifiers on May 20 and 21 in Barnaul, Russia.

As the first female Croatian canoe sprinter in history to secure an Olympic appearance, 24-year-old Govorčinović joins canoe slalom athlete Matija Marinić in Tokyo. 

There are currently 43 athletes on the Croatian Olympic Committee's list of candidates for the Tokyo Olympics! 

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Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Wrestler Ivan Huklek and Taekwondo Fighter Ivan Šapina Join Croatia Olympic Team!

May 12, 2021 - The Croatia Olympic team competing in Tokyo this summer currently has 42 members from 11 sports. The last two to join them are wrestler Ivan Huklek, whose story is particularly emotional, and taekwondo fighter from Split's Marjan Ivan Šapina.

HRT reports a welcome full of emotions was held for Ivan Huklek, who did the impossible by winning a spot among the elite company of the 16 best wrestlers of his category at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

"I did not expect such a large number of people, but it means a lot to me because it is the support of those who follow me throughout my career," said Croatian wrestler Ivan Huklek.

And this accomplishment has additional importance because it was won after his family experienced particularly challenging times. Ivan's younger sister passed away about 10 days ago.

"It's hard for me to describe how I felt about everything that was happening. I’m happy, aware that I’ve qualified, but it’s not the feeling I thought I’d have," he admits.

"He found that motivation where he knew his sister was watching him from above, and I can say that, in that category, in that competition, where the Olympic winner has no norm, Huklek qualified in this masterful way," said Anton Djok, Ivan Huklek's coach.

Huklek is Croatia's second wrestler that will compete in Tokyo; he will be accompanied by the experienced Božo Starčević, who was close to a medal in Rio.

Ivan Šapina, a taekwondo fighter who won in the last second of his qualifying fight, also realized his dream.

"I didn't think about anything anymore; I just jumped, went to the coach. Emotions flooded everything, the entire coaching staff. I tried a little to explain to myself and understand what I managed, what success I achieved. So, the feeling is still fantastic," he says.

While some have been disappointed, martial arts representatives are recording historical results.

"We've never had more representatives in taekwondo. We had three athletes at the last Olympic Games, and we will have four candidates this year," says Dejan Mesarov, Ivan Šapina's coach. 

All athletes will have to know how to fight in the unusual conditions at the Games caused by the ongoing pandemic.

"Among them, there are athletes who can reach the Olympic podium, and I believe that in the psychological sense, they will withstand the pressure of these abnormal Games," said Zlatko Mateša, president of the Croatian Olympic Committee.

You can watch the video on HRT HERE.

The Olympic Games will be held in Tokyo from July 23 to August 8. 

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Thursday, 8 April 2021

Croatia at Olympic Games: Only 40 Croatian Athletes Qualified for Tokyo So Far

April 8, 2021 - Only 40 Croatian athletes qualified for Tokyo so far. A look at Croatia at the Olympic Games this summer. reports that there are only three months left until the start of the Olympic Games in Japan. From July 23 to August 8, Tokyo will be the world’s sports center and host today’s best athletes in various sports.

Croatia participated in its first Games back in 1992 and participated in seven Olympic competitions, winning 33 medals total - 11 gold medals, 10 silver medals, and 12 bronze.

According to the number of qualified athletes, it is clear that Croatian sport is in crisis. To date, a total of only 40 Croatian athletes have qualified for Tokyo. 10-15 more are expected from individual sports (boxing, wrestling, karate, judo, tennis, cycling). The basketball team, which plays its qualifiers in June, faces a challenging task because they may play without their biggest stars - Bogdanović, Šarić, and Zubac.

In the best-case scenario, Croatia can see 65 athletes in Japan, which is the lowest number in the last 30 years. Croatia only had less in Barcelona in 1992 (41 athletes in 12 sports). Given the war period, this figure is not surprising. 

Croatia at the Olympic Games

Barcelona 1992 - 41 athletes - 12 sports (three medals)
Atlanta 1996 - 85 athletes - 14 sports (two medals)
Sydney 2000 - 91 athletes - 12 sports (two medals)
Athens 2004 - 81 athletes - 14 sports (five medals)
Beijing 2008 - 101 athletes - 15 sports (five medals)
London 2012 - 107 athletes - 18 sports (six medals)
Rio de Janeiro 2016 - 88 athletes - 18 sports (ten medals)

Tokyo 2021 - In the best case scenario, 65 athletes, and how many medals?
Croatian athletes will not be expected to break the record from Rio and the ten medals won that summer.

Favorites for medals?
The shortlist of favorites for medals at this year's Games includes Sandra Perković, Sinković brothers, Tin Srbić, Croatia water polo, Tonči Stipanović, Šime, and Mihovil Fantela, Josip Glasnović, Damir Martin, and Mektić-Pavić (tennis players are not yet on the list of qualified athletes).

Croatian athletes qualified for Tokyo:
ATHLETICS (Sandra Perković, Sara Kolak, Filip Mihaljević, Bojana Bjeljac, Matea Parlov Koštro)
GYMNASTICS (Tin Srbić, Ana Đerek)
WRESTLING (Božo Starčević)
SAILING (Tonči Stipanović, Šime and Mihovil Fantela, Elena Vorobeva)
KAYAK / CANOE (Matija Marinić)
SWIMMING (Franko Grgić, Marin Mogić)
TABLE TENNIS (Tomislav Pucar, Andrej Gacina, Frane Tomislav Kojic)
SHOOTING (Josip Glasnović, Snježana Pejčić, Petar Gorša, Miran Maričić)
TAEKWONDO (Kristina Tomic, Matea Jelic, Toni Kanaet)
WATER POLO - 12 athletes
ROWING (Damir Martin, Valent, and Martin Sinković)

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Sunday, 21 February 2021

Tokyo Olympics: Croatia Draws Group B with Serbia, Montenegro

February 21, 2021 - Croatia draws Group B with Serbia, Montenegro, and more top national teams at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer.

After a thrilling end to the Olympic qualifying tournament in Rotterdam on Sunday, Croatia secured the final 12th spot for the Tokyo Olympics.

Recall, Croatia and Russia met in the 3rd-place match of the Olympic qualifying tournament on Sunday afternoon. A win was enough for Croatia to automatically secure a spot in Tokyo, as the top three national teams from the qualifiers advance to the Olympic Games. 

Croatia finished the tournament with six victories and two defeats. Croatia won their first match against Romania at 16:6, defeated the Netherlands 25:8, topped France 10:13lost to Russia 13:14, and beat Germany 22:8 in the final group stage match. 

Croatia thus finished the group stage with eight points, four wins, and a defeat against Russia, which finished first with nine points. 

In the quarterfinal match on Friday, Croatia was better than Georgia (15:6), but lost to Montenegro in the semifinal match on penalties on Saturday. In the match for 3rd place, Croatia topped Russia on penalties 25:24

After Montenegro and Greece met in the final of the qualifiers, the national teams were drawn into two groups, in which Croatia was placed in Group B with Serbia, Australia, Spain, Kazahstan, and Montenegro. 

Namely, Croatia is in the company of the World Championship finalist - Spain, the defending Olympic gold medalist and 2019 World League winner - Serbia, the bronze medalist from the last European Championship in Budapest - Montenegro, and Australia, led by Croatian coach Elvis Fatović, the silver medalist from the last FINA Cup and the strongest team outside Europe. The only weaker team in the group is the national team of Kazakhstan.

On the other hand, Group A includes South Africa, the United States, Hungary, Greece, Japan, and Italy. 

The top four teams from each group move onto the quarterfinal stage of the competition. 

The Olympic Games in Tokyo are scheduled from July 24 to August 8, 2021. 

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

Friday, 8 November 2019

Croatia Women's Volleyball Team After Second Olympic Appearance

November 8, 2019 -  The Croatia women's volleyball team must win the upcoming qualifying tournament in the Netherlands to secure their second-ever appearance at the Olympic Games.

The Croatia women's volleyball team will play in Group B of the next qualifying tournament for the Tokyo Olympics, which will be held from January 7 to 12 next year in the Netherlands. Croatia will face rivals Belgium, Germany, and Turkey, reports

The tournament will be played in Apeldoorn, where the Netherlands will play against the national teams of Poland, Azerbaijan, and Bulgaria in Group A.

The two best-placed teams from both groups will advance to the semi-finals, while only the winner of this tournament will secure a spot at the Tokyo Olympics.

"This is a high-level volleyball tournament, and we all want that one spot that leads to the Olympics. It's not impossible to win it even though we are not going there as favorites. These are nominally stronger teams than us, but we have nothing to lose as anything can happen in a tournament. We will not have much time to prepare due to the club commitments of our players, but we have arranged preparations and friendly matches with Bulgaria in Sofia, so that we will prepare for the upcoming tournament as best as we can,” Croatia national team coach Daniele Santarelli said after the Olympic qualifying draw.

Croatia will open the tournament in Apeldoorn on January 8 (1 pm) against Turkey. One day later (1 pm), Croatia will play against the Belgian national team, and on January 10 (1:30 pm), they will conclude the group stage against Germany.

Italy, Serbia and Russia have already qualified for the Olympics as they topped their groups at the Intercontinental Qualifying Tournaments held in August this year. In addition, China, the United States, Brazil and Japan as the host country will also compete in Tokyo. With another European team, Africa, Asia, South America, and North and Central America will each have one representative in the Olympic Games next summer. 

The Croatia national team participated in the Olympic Games only once, back in 2000 in Sydney, where they finished seventh place. 

The Croatia women's volleyball team achieved their greatest success in 1995, 1997 and 1999 by winning silver medals at the European Championships. At the 2009 and 2013 Mediterranean Games, Croatia won the bronze medal. The first gold medal for the senior national team was won in 2016 at the World Grand Prix. In 2018, Croatia won gold at the Mediterranean Games.

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

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Blanka Vlašić Reaches Bronze Medal Height in High Jump

All the heights she cleared in her second attempts (188, 193 and 197 cm), while it was apparent she was struggling with an injury

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Silver Medal for Croatian Water Polo in Rio

In the Olympic finals, the Serbian team was stronger and firmly won with a 11-7 score

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