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 Index.hr.

"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.

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Kristina Tomić Wins Bronze at Taekwondo World Cup in Manchester!

At the Taekwondo World Championship in Manchester, current European champion Kristina Tomić won the bronze medal, repeating her success from last year, reports HRT on May 18, 2019. 

While Tomić was free in the first round of the competition, in the second round, she beat French competitor Sarah Adidou 26:6, Azerbaijani Patimat Abakarov 12:3 and Tunisian Ikram Dhahri 14:10.

In the semifinal, Tomić lost to the two-time Olympic winner, Chinese competitor Jingyu Wu, who won 30-12. Tomić did, however, complain of foot pain, though Jingyu Wu was also just too strong for the Croatian athlete. Recall, Jingyu Wu also beat Lucija Zaninović at the London Olympics and in two world championships.

This is the second consecutive world medal for Kristina Tomić after the bronze in Korea two years ago.

Croatia had another strong competitor for the bronze medal two days before the end of the championship, but Nikita Glasnović dramatically ended her campaign without a medal in the 57kg category.

Glasnović lost the quarterfinal fight for the medal to the Canadian of Korean origin Park (11-11, 11-14). Nikita led 7-0, and ten seconds before the end had an advantage of 11-7, though her rival managed to hit with her leg at Glasnović’s body twice for the tiebreaker. 

Although Nikita was more active in that part of the battle, she was unable to prevail, and her dreams of the second world medal were shattered. Recall, Glasnović received her first medal in 2017 when she won the bronze at the World Championship in Muzu. However, at the time, Glasnović was still representing Sweden. 

Somewhat unexpected and quite early in the competition, current European champion Toni Kanaet (74 kg) was eliminated in the third round. After he easily overcame Lebanese competitor Cheiban (18-3), he fell to Italian Alessio (8-29). The young Split native, however, has won medals in the last two European championships (gold in 2018 and silver in 2016), though he will have to wait two years until Wuxi for a chance at his first world medal. 

On the fourth day of the competition at the Manchester Arena, Ana Taslak (53 kg), Matea Jelić (67 kg), Lovre Brečić (63 kg) and Luka Horvat (80 kg) will fight for Croatia. 

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