Wednesday, 22 December 2021

Matea Jelić and Tonči Stipanović Named Croatia's Best Athletes in 2021

December 22, 2021 - Olympic taekwondo gold medalist Matea Jelić and Olympic sailing silver medalist Tonči Stipanović were named Croatia's best athletes in 2021 by the Croatian Olympic Committee,

The awards were presented at the Great Day of Croatian Sports celebration in the Crystal Hall of The Westin in Zagreb.

In addition to the Olympic gold in Tokyo, Jelić also won the European champion title. In addition to winning the Olympic silver again in the Laser class, Stipanović also won the bronze at the World Championships in Barcelona. Interestingly, both were named Athletes of the Year in 2020 when Jelić shared the award with judoka Karla Prodan.

Jelić won the award in the competition of nine athletes, while Stipanovic was up against 11 competitors.

"It is a great honor for me to receive this award; I am aware of the great name of the athletes who stood here before me. I hope that in the years to come, I will prove that I am worth even more," said the young Matea Jelić from Knin.


Slobodan Kadic

"Last year, I was also named the best athlete, but everything was online. So I just now saw how beautiful all this is. I hope to win this award for a few more years," Matea added with a smile.

Stipanović pointed out that he was proud of winning the award against strong competition.

"I am proud of this award. I know that it was not easy for the COC, despite all these great results, in such a successful year for Croatian sports," Stipanović emphasized.

"I hope that during the next Olympic cycle, I will have another opportunity to address you from here," he added.

According to the Croatian Olympic Committee criteria, rowing brothers Martin and Valent Sinković, Olympic winners and European champions in the coxless pairs and overall World Cup winners, defeated the best tennis pair in the world, Olympic and Wimbledon winners Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić, in the selection for the best pair, relay or crew.


Slobodan Kadic

Brothers Martin and Valent Sinković were among the award winners for the 11th time in the last 12 elections. From 2010 to 2013, they won the award three times as part of the trophy foursome and eight times as doubles (three times in doubles and five times in coxless pairs). In addition, Pavić and Mektić were awarded the prize for "the greatest sports promoters in the world."

"I want to thank coach Bralić because, without him, we would not be able to win all these years," said Martin, adding: "It was something special, another Olympic gold, but we are still hungry for the future."

His brother Valent wanted to thank those he had never thanked before:

"The mission of the Croatian Olympic Committee, the people who are with us at the Olympics. They make sure we don’t miss anything, and sometimes it’s not easy with us athletes. Especially in this pandemic year."

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

Tuesday, 9 November 2021

Jurković Sisters: Bright Future for Croatian Twin Rowing Team

November 9, 2021 - You may know everything about the Sinković brothers, but how much do you know about the Croatian twin rowing team, Josipa and Ivana Jurković, otherwise known as the Jurković sisters?

The Jurković sisters are Croatia representatives competing in the coxless pairs discipline. They are the current European and World U-23 champions and overall winners of the 2021 Senior World Cup.

"We are completely different; you would not know that we are twins. I’m more into sports, and she’s more modern things. Even though I sometimes like to put on make-up, nothing will stand in my way if I put my head to something. If she and I decided to break up a workout and try for our 'personal best', we would do it no matter the weather. Because we have that type of mentality," said Ivana for HRT.

About the advantages of being twins in a sport like rowing:

"I think it's a plus for both sisters and brothers because we know each other. And the fact that we sometimes quarrel because we are always together is normal, and it only elevates us," said Josipa.

"When the race is over, I feel exactly when she is in crisis, I know exactly when I have to tell her something. And that is the advantage of our relationship - that we are sisters and know each other at heart," added Ivana.

How did they get into rowing?

"We started rowing a long time ago. A friend encouraged us in 2011 when we had been training handball for five years. We immediately won a bronze medal in the first regatta. That’s how it became fun for us," Josipa said.

Where are they from, and how are their training conditions?

"We are from Vela Luka on Korčula. When the day came when we were world and European junior champions in 2017, and we no longer had the conditions, unfortunately, we had to move to Zagreb to continue rowing with the best and create Croatian rowing history," said Ivana.

How much effort does it take to achieve results and to be able to compete with the best?

"We can fight with the best. But, you have to grit your teeth and go your own way. Otherwise, there would be no success," explains Josipa.

"They told us that when girls get into rowing, your shoulders broaden and so on. We currently have no blisters or wounds. But we prefer more blisters because then we see that we are doing well. If there are no blisters and blood, then something is not good," Ivana added.

Finally, the Jurković sisters spoke about the Sinković brothers and hopes for the future:

"The Sinković brothers should be a role model for everyone. Therefore, we tip our hats and hope that we will be able to be even close to their success one day. We hope that we will be able to qualify for Paris and be the first women's team in that discipline at the Olympic Games," concludes Ivana.

You can watch the full video on HRT.

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

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Sinković Brothers Advance to Olympic Rowing Final in Tokyo!

July 28, 2021 - Brothers Martin and Valent Sinković have done it again! The celebrated Croatian rowing team has a chance to fight for a medal in the Olympic rowing final in Tokyo on Thursday. 

Brothers Martin and Valent Sinković advanced to the final of coxless pairs at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, winning their semifinal race with a time of 6:15.63, reports HRT.

Behind them was Serbia's Mackovic / Vasic (6: 17.47) and Canada's Langerfeld / McCabe (6:19.15). The Croatian team led from the beginning to the end of the race and certainly reached a new grand final with ease. The final race is scheduled for Thursday at 14:18 pm CET.

In the second qualifying group, the Romania, Denmark, and Spain crews also won a place in the final.

"The semifinals have passed and we are very satisfied with the race. There were difficult conditions, wind, heat, strong sun, but we did well despite everything. We controlled the race from start to finish so we are very happy," said Valent Sinković.

"We controlled the race from the first to the last stroke, after 200-300 meters we had everything under control. Tomorrow we will have to go faster and stronger, but we can do it. In the end, we didn’t do our best which is good because we have more space. We are satisfied with the race and we can't wait for tomorrow's final," said Martin Sinković.

"As for the final, there were really interesting results today. In the first group, it was uncertain until the end, it was an interesting race, surprising that Australia failed to reach the final. In our group, Holland also dropped out, so we expect an interesting race tomorrow. It is difficult to say who our main competition is like this at first, probably Romania, but we have to paddle even better and go to the maximum from start to finish," added Valent Sinković.

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Saturday, 24 July 2021

Croatia Olympics July 24 Recap: Sinković Brothers Have Stellar Start, Tin Srbić Excellent in Qualifiers

July 24, 2021 - On the second day of the Olympic Games, Croatian athletes recorded great results. Here's our Croatia Olympics July 24 recap. 

Brothers Martin and Valent Sinković performed superbly to kick off their Olympic Games campaign in Tokyo. In the first race of the qualifying group, they won with a time of 6:32.41, which was 4.52 seconds faster than second-placed Denmark and 8.58 faster than third-placed Canada.

"We are generally satisfied with the race, but we definitely need to be better for the semifinals," said Valent Sinković.

Croatian gymnast Tin Srbić was excellent in the qualifying round, and with a score of 14,633, he holds first place. Two more subdivisions remain, and the final outcome will be known at around 3 pm Croatia time.

"This is one of the most difficult competitions in my career in terms of stress and tension," admitted Srbić.

Croatian table tennis player Andrej Gaćina (35) also successfully started his fourth Olympic Games campaign. In the 1st round match in the individual competition, he defeated Togoan Kokou Dodji Fanny 4-0 (11-5, 11-6, 11-3, 13-11).

In the 2nd round, Gaćina will play against a much more demanding opponent, the Frenchman Emmanuel Lebeson.

Croatian boxer Nikolina Ćaćić defeated American Yarisel Ramirez in the 1st round duel of the 57 kg category by a unanimous decision of the judges.

The 20-year-old Ćaćić is the first Croatian boxer to ever perform at the Olympic Games, and she recorded her first victory. However, she was not the favorite against an equally young American.

"This is just the beginning for me; I consider boxing a game, I am good at it, and I hope you will watch me for a long, long time. I am not thinking about the next opponent," said Ćaćić.

Croatian shooter Snježana Pejčić took 31st place in the 10-meter air rifle discipline. Pejčić recorded 622.6, which was enough for 31st place, but it was not enough for the finals.

"Not good, but not bad either. I think the result with which we entered the finals surprised everyone because it is a really high threshold. With 628 points, I was left without a final. Nobody knew what to expect, but the results are terribly high," said Snježana.

Kristina Tomić (26), a member of the Croatian Taekwondo team, was also unlucky. She lost in the 1st round in the category up to 49 kilograms to Colombian Andrea Ramirez Vargas.

Source: HRT

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Sunday, 6 June 2021

Historic Day: Sinković, Lončarić, and Jurković Sibling Pairs Win Medals at World Rowing Cup III!

June 6, 2021 - Wonderful news ahead of the Olympic Games in Tokyo as the Sinković brothers win the gold medal, the Lončarić brothers the bronze, and the Jurković sisters the silver at the World Rowing Cup III in Sabaudia, Italy! 

Brothers Valent and Martin Sinković won gold in coxless pairs in the third regatta of the World Rowing Cup in Sabaudia on Sunday, while brothers Patrik and Antun Lončarić took third place.

The Sinković brothers celebrated convincingly with a time of 6:16.79. Second place was taken by the British crew Calvin Tarczy and Douwe de Graaf, a little more than six seconds behind. Patrik and Antun Lončarić took third place with 6:25.89.

"There's no beating the Sinkovic brothers this year. Another dominant win for Martin and Valent - they will be the crew to beat in Tokyo, no doubt about it," said the World Rowing Twitter account after the win. 

This is a great result for both Croatian crews, especially for the Sinković brothers, for whom this was great preparation ahead of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, which begin on July 23.

Even better news - the Jurković sisters won second place in the World Cup race. This is a historic success of Croatian sport because never in the history of a medal have two pairs of siblings won a medal in the same competition!

The great Damir Martin will race a little later today. Stay tuned! 


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Saturday, 1 May 2021

Sinković Brothers and Jurković Sisters Win Gold at Zagreb Rowing World Cup!

May 1, 2021 - The Sinković brothers and Jurković sisters have won gold in the coxless pairs at the Zagreb Rowing World Cup!

Brothers Valent and Martin Sinković won the gold medal today in the coxless pairs discipline at the Rowing World Cup held at Zagreb's Jarun Lake, and sisters Ivana and Josipa Jurković won the gold in the women's competition in the same discipline! 

Ivana and Josipa Jurković were the first to perform in the final in which they were the fastest, winning with a time of 07:11.12. The second place was taken by the Czech team Anna Santruckova and Paulina Famlikova (7:16.43), and the third by the French duo Maya Cornut and Emma Cornelis.

The Sinković brothers celebrated convincingly in coxless pairs with a time of 6:2.55. In second were Frenchmen Thibaud and Gauillaume Turlan with 6:28.39, and in third were Spaniards Jaime Canalejo Pazos and Javier Garcia Ordonez with 6:29.57.

"The race was phenomenal, firstly it was at home, everything is known, and secondly when we went out on the water people were cheering and when the race started it was wonderful to paddle. The last 500 m everyone was by the fence and cheering us on, it is a truly unique feeling," said Martin Sinković.

His brother Valent agreed. "The race was wonderful. We heard cheering the whole race, all credit to everyone and I invite you in two years to repeat this same thing," Valent said.

Damir Martin eventually took third place in the singles final. The silver medalist five years ago in Rio de Janeiro held third place for almost the entire course of the race behind the great German Oliver Zeidler, who dominated the victory, and the Norwegian Kjetil Borch, who finished second.

Already in the middle of the track, Zeidler had a 3.55-second advantage over Borch, or 5.38 seconds ahead of Martin. 500 meters before the finish the situation was almost identical - Zeidler led with 3.03 seconds ahead of Borch, or 5.04 seconds ahead of Martin to enter the finish line with 4.51 seconds ahead of the Norwegian, or 5.59 ahead of Croatia's representative.

Croatia's coxless fours Ivan Piton, Marko Ukropina, Anton and Patrik Lončarić won the bronze!

The first place was taken by the French crew with a time of 5:59.88, in second was the Polish side with 6:01.40, and the third place was taken by Piton, Ukopina, and the Lončarić brothers with a time of 6:02.25.

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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Saturday, 1 May 2021

Wings for Life World Run: Sinković Brothers Run for Those Who Can't

May 1, 2021 - The Sinković brothers run for those who can't by joining the Wings for Life World Run on May 9!

For a full seven years, the global Wings for Life World Run has connected people with big hearts in all parts of the world, who together embark on a competitive racing adventure at the same time to raise funds needed for clinical research that will make spinal cord injuries curable.

Among the many top athletes who do not miss this important sports and humanitarian event are the Sinković brothers, reports

Martin and Valent Sinković could not have started the Olympic rowing season better, winning gold at the European Championships in Varese.

Only a week after the strong World Cup regatta at home in Zagreb, they are ready to replace their oars with racing equipment and, on Sunday, May 9, run for those who can't.

"Last year, we ran the Wings for Life World Run with the app, and it was a special experience. The audio in the app cheered us on all the time, and we were happy to be able to participate," Martin Sinković said.

The Sinković brothers tirelessly continue their preparations for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, with as many as 12 training sessions a week.

That morning, May 9, they will do another hard rowing training on Peruća Lake, and only a few hours later, they will join many Croatian participants at 1 pm.

From the very beginning, Croatian competitors have been among the most numerous participants in this global event, which has already run more than 7 million kilometers.

The Sinković brothers can boast of really respectable results at the Wings for Life World Run, although their sport does not have much to do with professional running.

Thus, Valent ran 24 kilometers last year with the application. In 2019, Martin stood out with 19 kilometers before he was caught by an interceptor vehicle, which marks the end of the race by passing the competitor.

Although always in the mood to compete, Valent and Martin are aware that in this race, there are things that are much more important than breaking their own records, and the format of the race offers an opportunity for everyone to get involved and enjoy.

"It is a special feeling when you run for those who can't. That's why it doesn't matter how much you run, but it's important to participate and help," the Sinković brothers emphasize.

You, too can join the global Wings for Life World Run community on May 9, run for those who can’t, and enjoy this memorable sporting event.

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Saturday, 24 April 2021

Zagreb to Host 2021 World Rowing Cup for First Time!

April 24, 2021 - The 2021 World Rowing Cup will be held in Zagreb from April 30 to May 2 for the first time in history. 

Namely, the world's best rowers will gather at Zagreb's Jarun, led by Olympic, world, and European winners, brothers Martin and Valent Sinković in coxless pairs, and Olympic runner-up Damir Martin in singles.

Sisters Ivana and Josipa Jurković will also compete for Croatia in the coxless pairs, David Šain in singles, and Ivan Piton, Marko Ukropina, Anton, and Patrik Lončarić in the coxless four. 

This will be their first 'world appearance' at home, and they are proudly waiting for the arrival of their world competitors.

"This is an important moment for Croatian sports and rowing, since, after the reconstruction of the Jarun track, the possibility of holding the World Cup and bringing the world's best rowers to Zagreb became a reality. This competition not only promotes sports but is important for the overall promotion of Croatia and Zagreb as a historical and cultural center, tourist destination, and modern European metropolis," said the president of the Croatian Rowing Federation Branimir Basic.


Robert Anic / PIXSELL

Martin Sinković thanked the City of Zagreb for its support and the opportunity to compete with the best rowers in the world for the first time in history, hoping that the World Cup will be held in Zagreb in 2023, and in the future, perhaps the World Championship.

"We are happy to compete with the best world crews at home. Who knows, maybe in a few years, the world championship will be held on Jarun," said Martin Sinković.


Robert Anic / PIXSELL

Damir Martin pointed out that he has not the slightest doubt about the success of the upcoming competition.

"This is a really nice occasion. I have no doubts about the organization and everything needed because we have many years of experience in Zagreb and Croatian rowing behind us. This will be just one “day at the office” for the organization," the silver medalist from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics said.

Sisters Ivana and Josipa Jurković, who won fifth place in the coxless pairs, will also perform at Jarun.

"We are happy because this is the first time that such competition takes place in Croatia. We hope for a good result; unfortunately, because of the epidemiological situation, there will be no fans," said Ivana Jurković.

Patrik Lončarić, a representative of the coxless fours, also expressed satisfaction with the competition in Zagreb, hoping that a good result will make an additional step forward before the regatta that separates them from the final qualifying regatta for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.


Robert Anic / PIXSELL

"This is a big deal, the World Cup on Jarun. We have good rowers, and I hope we will do as well as possible and take another step forward."

Tomislav Družak, State Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, thanked and congratulated on behalf of the Government and the relevant ministry, all participants for their courage and determination to organize such an event in difficult pandemic conditions. He is sure that this will be a great overture for the upcoming competition in which some rowers will try to win a place at the Olympic Games.

Jelena Pavičić Vukičević, Deputy Mayor who is acting mayor, wished all athletes good health and much sporting success. She emphasized that the investment of 30 million kuna for the arrangement of the track itself will remain for this competition and for the generations to come and those who, perhaps thanks to this event, will love this sport and try rowing.

The Zagreb Tourist Board also supported the event.

"Sports events are one of the most important ambassadors of every country, and thus the city they are held. I am delighted that Zagreb is in these uncertain times, for the first time in history, hosting two major world sporting events - the World Rowing Cup and the World Rally Championship (WRC)," said director Martina Bienenfeld. 

The representative of WWF Adria, Ivana Korn Varga, emphasized the importance of water as a natural resource and as a basis for the preservation of freshwater ecosystems; cooperation was established between WWF and the World Rowing Federation, including the Croatian Rowing Federation. She wished good luck to the rowers and announced the nomination of the five-state UNESCO Mura Biosphere Reserve, the Drava Danube.


Robert Anic / PIXSELL

According to the guidelines for event management, the World Rowing Federation, the Croatian Rowing Federation, and the Olympic Committee have developed a COVID-19 protection plan for organizing sports events based on the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO).

The plan was carefully reviewed and approved by the Croatian Institute of Public Health and the Croatian Civil Protection Headquarters. The World Rowing Federation and the Olympic Committee are convinced that the measures planned to be implemented are appropriate to minimize the risk of transmission and infection at the event.

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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Sunday, 11 April 2021

Sinkovic Brothers Win European Gold in Italy!

April 11, 2021 - The brilliant Sinkovic brothers win European gold at the Rowing Championships in Varese, Italy!

Brother Martin and Valent Sinkovic won the gold medal in coxless pairs at the European Rowing Championships in Varese!

The Sinkovic brothers led throughout the race and deservedly celebrated in the end, passing through the finish line with a time of 6:23.37. Second place was taken by the Italian crew, and in third was the team from Serbia. Earlier in the day, sisters Ivana and Josipa Jurković took fifth place in the women's competition of the same discipline.

Damir Martin will fight in the singles final at 3:06 pm. 

You might recall that the Sinkovic brothers won silver at the European Championship held last year, which was the only rowing competition held in the pandemic year. 

Until this European Championship, the Sinkovic brothers have won 11 European, world, and Olympic gold medals, four silver medals, and one bronze medal as members of the foursome, double sculls, and coxless pairs. They moved to the coxless pairs discipline after the Olympic Games in Rio.

"A phenomenal race and it is wonderful to be the European champion again after last year when the Romanians surprised us. It is the Olympic year and we can hardly wait for new races, especially the historic one, the first World Championships in Zagreb," said Valent Sinković.

"We had a great feeling for the past three or four weeks and this was a really good race. However, the season has just begun, and we know what our goal is - Olympic gold in Tokyo," said Martin Sinković.

In the first major competition in the new discipline, they won silver at the 2017 World Championships and then won gold at the European Championships and World Champs in 2018 and 2019, before surprisingly finishing second behind Romanian team Cozmius and Tudose.

The next competition and another stop on the way to the Olympics in Tokyo is the World Rowing Championship, which is being held for the first time in history at Zagreb's Jarun from April 30 to May 2. 

We will have more after Damir Martin's final race at 3 pm! Stay tuned! 

Source: HRT

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Thursday, 8 April 2021

Sinković Brothers at European Championships: Champion Croatian Rowers after Gold Medal in Italy

April 8, 2021 - After several months of competition break, champion Croatian rowers brothers Valent and Martin Sinković are racing this weekend.

24 Sata reports that the Sinković brothers set off for the European Championships, to be held from April 9 to 11, 2021, in Varese, Italy. 629 athletes from 35 countries registered for the regatta, and Italy, the host country, has the largest number of registered crews.

"I think our biggest competition will be the Italians and the Romanians. The Dutch are tough on the first part of the track we learned last year. However, the boat is good, we are satisfied, and we can’t wait to race with the others. We hope for good competition, we will do our best to row the best we know, and then there is no fear for a good result," said Martin Sinković.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, in the international rowing season in 2020, only the European Championship was held, so the Croatian champion rowers are facing an exciting year of competition. According to the event management guidelines, the Varese Organizing Committee and the World Rowing Federation have developed a COVID-19 protection plan for organizing sporting events based on World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations to ensure that all participants in the European Rowing Championships are at the lowest possible risk of infection. 

"After last year's lockdown, the cancellation of the Olympics, and the whole new situation due to the pandemic, we have finally welcomed a big competition. It was a long winter, we trained well, we are ready, we feel excellent, and we can't wait for the races," said Valent Sinković.

The first race is scheduled for Friday, the semifinals are on Saturday, and the finals on Sunday.

Last year, of the rowing competitions, only the European Championship was held in which the Sinković brothers won second place. The next competition and another stop on the way to the Olympics in Tokyo is the World Rowing Cup, which is being held for the first time in history at Zagreb's Jarun from April 30 to May 2.

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

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