Saturday, 24 July 2021

Croatia Gymnastics at Olympic Games: Tin Srbić Advances to Final!

July 24, 2021 - Croatia gymnastics at the Olympic Games are off to a flying start, as Tin Srbić finally learned he would compete in the final on August 3, 9 hours after he competed on Saturday. 

Croatian gymnast Tin Srbić advanced to the final at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. He finished third in the qualifiers with a score of 14,633, reports Index.hr.

Srbić competed in the first subdivision, after which he took first place, but in the second subdivision, Japan's Daiki Hashimoto (15,033) and Kazakhstan's Milad Karimi (14,766) were better than the 2017 world champion. Finally, in the third subdivision, no one was better than Srbic; only the USA's Brody Malone came close, who finished fourth with a score of 14,533.

"It was quite tiring because we had to wake up very early, come to the hall 2.5-3 hours before competing, so part of the warm-up and waiting was quite tense. Nevertheless, I pushed through because, after all, this was my first Olympic appearance. But before the exercise itself, when I looked at the Olympic rings again, I said to myself, "well, I guess I won't be scared now." I used my head, and I did very well, and in the final, I will attack with an even stronger exercise," said Tin immediately after his performance. His coach Lucijan Krce added:

"I am satisfied with Tin's exercise; he had an excellent performance. Of course, we both felt the pressure of the Olympics, but he still managed to do a very good quality exercise and get a pretty high score."

The final, which is scheduled for August 3, will also include Russia's Nikita Nagonji (14,466), Japan's Takeru Kitazono (14,433), Australia's Tyson Bull (14,433), and Holland's Bart Deurloo (14,400).

There will be no Kohei Uchimura of Japan and Epke Zonderland of Holland in the final. Uchimura, who won gold in the all-around from London 2012 and Rio 2016, decided to compete in Tokyo only on the bars, but with a score of 13,866, he took 20th place and ended his career on Saturday. Flying Dutchman Zonderland, the Olympic winner in London, three-time world champion, and three-time world runner-up, took 23rd place with a score of 13,833.

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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, 13 June 2021

Croatian Gymnasts Win Two Golds, Bronze and Silver at World Cup in Osijek

ZAGREB, 13 June, 2021 - Croatian gymnast Ana Đerek won the gold medal in the women's floor exercise and the bronze medal in the balance beam exercise while Tin Srbić won men's high bar gold on Sunday, the last day of the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup in the eastern Croatian city of Osijek.

Đerek and Srbić's medals put the total number of medals won for Croatia at World Cup competitions at 382 - 274 for men's gymnastics and 108 for women's gymnastics.

Nina Derwael of Belgium won the gold in the women's balance beam exercise while Diana Varinska of Ukraine won the silver.

Marlies Männersdorfer of Austria won the silver in the floor exercise and Elina Vihrova of Latvia won the bronze.

In the men's high bar, the silver went to Krisztian Balazs of Hungary while the bronze went to Adem Asil of Turkey.

On Saturday, Aurel Benović of Croatia won the silver medal in the men's floor exercise.

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Thursday, 10 June 2021

DOBRO World Cup in Osijek: 140 Gymnasts from 31 Countries Compete for Medals

June 10, 2021 - The gymnastics spectacle in Osijek can begin! Everything is ready for the 12th edition of the DOBRO World Cup in gymnastics, which will host 140 athletes from 31 countries from Wednesday to Sunday (June 10-13) in the Gradski vrt hall.

"We have some more small details to finish, but in general everything is ready, most teams came, stayed in hotels, accredited, passed all the COVID procedures that we received from the World Gymnastics Federation and all those epidemiological measures that are currently in force in the Republic of Croatia. The hall and the whole production are 99% ready. We are all looking forward to the start of the competition. The figure of 31 countries is one of the best in terms of attendance at gymnastics competitions in the world this year. 140 competitors are coming. We also have a lot of those who are interested in the highest medals at the Olympic Games because Osijek is the last international stage in the preparations for the Olympics in Tokyo, so the competition will be very interesting for Tin, Aurel, Jakov, Filip Ude, our girls ... very interesting to follow the outcome of this competition. However, we as the Croatia national team also expect a lot from the DOBRO World Cup. It is no secret that we are expecting podiums, and all our national team members will want to show themselves in the best world at home," announced the director of the competition and vice-president of the Croatian Gymnastics Association, Vladimir Mađarević.

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Slobodan Kadic

Let us remind you that Croatia has won as many as 30 medals in Osijek since 2009.

At this year's tournament, the Croatia national team will consist of Tin Srbić (horizontal bar), Aurel Benović (floor and vault), Filip Ude (pommel horse), Jakov Vlahek (pommel horse), Filip Boroša (floor), Ana Đerek (floor and beam), Tijana Korent (vault), Christina Zwicker (beam and uneven bars) and Sara Šulekić (uneven bars).

All of them attended the last press conference today before the start of tomorrow's competition. On Thursday at 3 pm, Benović and Boroša on the floor, Ude and Vlahek on the pommel horse, Korent on a vault, and Zwicker and Šulekić on uneven bars will be in the qualifications. On Friday, Srbić will be on the hunt for the finals, Benović on the vault, Zwicker on the beam, and Đerek on the beam and the floor.

Tin Srbić (gold in Osijek 2017 and 2018, bronze 2016):
"I am ready for my last check before going to the Olympics in Tokyo. I'm in great shape, we're training great. If I have to go to the Olympics tomorrow, I'm ready! Osijek will be a simulation of Tokyo for me, an exercise that I will do here, 6.2, I will also do in Tokyo. I hope to qualify for the finals so that I can try out the 6.5 exercise we are training to be ready for the Tokyo finals, which I hope. I didn’t watch the competition here. There are no strongest who will be in Tokyo. There is last year's European champion Tvorogal, but I do not see this "defeat" in Mersin as something big since I did not consider the EP very important given the whole epidemiological situation, the number of countries that came, and the trial there. I don't bother with that. I know I'm better than him. I’m not saying he’ll never beat me because I can screw up too, but if we both do the exercises, I’ll always be better than him. He’s definitely a big competitor, he does great exercises, but I repeat, if we both do ours, I’m realistically better. I have had back problems for a long time, it has been worse in recent weeks, but it is getting better. Yesterday I did exercise 6.2. I didn't think it would go this much better, but it is going."

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Slobodan Kadic

Aurel Benović:
"I am not under pressure to perform in my city. I’m sorry there shouldn’t be an audience in the hall this year, but I hope that as early as next year, the fans will refill the City Garden. I expect a good performance, I am sure that none of us members of the Croatia national team will let down all those who will watch us on small screens thanks to the broadcast of HRT. I am happy that I won gold at the World Cup in Varna ten days ago with my strongest exercise. I hope that I will be able to do the same in Osijek. I didn’t study the competition, I just heard it was going to be strong, like every year. I was happy when I heard that Artem Dolgopjat had come, I look forward to meeting him again. He beat me at the EP last year, I beat him now in Varna. We will see how it will be in Osijek. The legendary Marian Dragulescu is also here, I am honored to perform with him. He is a gymnastic icon. Still, at 41, he shows that he can still perform challenging acrobatics and difficult elements on the jump. I will also perform on the vault and I will be honored to stand next to him."

Filip Ude (gold in Osijek 2014, bronze 2010 and 2013):
"I am and I am not ready. I’m not in the shape I wanted to be in, due to a shoulder injury, but in the last 2 weeks, I’ve done my best to make it OK. We are already used to Osijek being our competition, that our people can see us there and I am glad that it is so. I hope that one day a world or European championship will come to Croatia. I have not studied competition in Osijek, I never do that, I do not fight with anyone, it is not martial arts or some contact team sport. This is more of a mental sport. If you don't beat yourself, unfortunately, you won't beat anyone."

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Slobodan Kadic

Ana Đerek (gold in Osijek 2019):
"For me, this is the last competition before going to the Olympics in Tokyo, which is only a few weeks away, so I am in good shape. I’ve been doing my best in training lately, because Tokyo is close, but also because this World Cup means the most to me. I trained well, and I hope that the results will follow. About 10 days ago we were at the World Cup in Varna, I competed for 4 days, I won 2 finals, I know physically that I am in shape, but you know how it is in sports, it takes a little luck to get to the finals, and then whatever. I had a small accident before coming here, from one state to another, I traveled from Split to Osijek for 2 days. Namely, before Zagreb, the tire on our car burst, we crossed a metal part that was on the road and cut our tire. Fortunately, neither I nor coach Miroslav Končarević had any other issues. But while the towing service came to pick us up, while they took us to the service station, so they didn't have tires ... My coach is still in Zagreb waiting for the tires, and I came to Osijek with the Zagreb team. But nothing rattled me before the performance. It wasn't that scary. I’m more sorry we’re going to perform without spectators this year. The audience is the No. 1 favorite thing of this World Cup. They are something special. But everything is going in the direction that we will soon return to normal life."

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Slobodan Kadic

Tijana Korent (silver in Osijek 2009, bronze 2010):
"Given that in Varna 10 days ago the final escaped me by 0.001 points, which is partly discouraging, I hope that I will make up for that crumb in this competition and that I will fight in the final on Saturday. I have silver and bronze from Osijek, I would not complain about completing medals ... But, considering the competition here, it will be difficult. Although, when you’re in the finals there’s always that factor that we all often forget, and that’s luck. It's not all about training. We can be in great shape, but if just a little bit of luck is missing, it doesn't have to turn out well."

Christina Zwicker:
"I'm ready. I don't have too many goals in terms of results, just to do both exercises the way I know how to train. The competition here, thank God, is very strong. However, the Games are at the door and everyone came here, and there is always a perfect organization, hall, everything, so it is clear to me why all the best always come to Osijek. It's simple, everyone here feels perfect."

Sara Šulekić:
"I don't have any additional anxiety. Although I am still a junior by age, this will be my third competition in a row among the "big girls" and I am slowly adjusting. I hope that I will be able to perform my exercise the way we do in training, and that is the only thing that matters to me here for the first time."

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Slobodan Kadic

Jakov Vlahek:
“Just three days ago, I landed from Egypt where I won silver at the World Cup in Cairo, but honestly, I’m not tired. I have been waiting for five years to get the opportunity to perform in Osijek and I am really happy to be here. I hope that I will be able to repeat the good performances from Cairo."

Filip Boroša:
"First of all, it is a great honor for me to be part of the Croatia national team in Osijek and to have the opportunity to perform here for the first time. I am sure that each of us on the team will do our best not to disappoint and to justify our colors."

The ceremonial opening of the competition is on the program on Saturday at 12.45, and both final days, will be live broadcasts from Osijek on HRT 2.

Follow the Livescore results at the link https://osijekgym.com/rezultati/

All information about the DOBRO World Cup can be found at the link http://osijekgym.com/

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Monday, 14 December 2020

Tin Srbic, Filip Ude and Aurel Benovic Win Silver at European Gymnastics Championships

December 14, 2020 - Tin Srbic defended his silver medal on Sunday at the European Championships in Mersin, Turkey, winning another silver medal on the horizontal bar with a score of 14,600. And he wasn't the only Croatian gymnast to take home a silver medal. 

It was the most successful European Championship for Croatian gymnasts because two more silver medals were won in Sunday's finals.

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Slobodan Kadic

Namely, Filip Ude won silver on the pommel horse and repeated 2008 when he was also the European runner-up. In the same discipline, Robert Seligman took fourth place.

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Slobodan Kadic

Aurel Benovic also won the silver medal in his first European final in the floor exercise.

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Slobodan Kadic

Croatia has won nine medals in men's gymnastics since 1992. In 2008 in Lausanne, Filip Ude won the silver and Robert Seligman bronze on the pommel horse. 

Marijo Možnik was the runner-up in Montpellier in 2012, and the European champion in 2015 in the same city.

Robert Seligman won silver in 2018 in Glasgow, and Tin Srbic won silver in Szczecin last year, while three more silver medals were won in Mersin this year.

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Slobodan Kadic

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Slobodan Kadic

Mateo Žugec, an 18-year-old from Varaždin, a member of GK Vindija, and a student of coach Emil Šanjek was sixth at the 2018 Junior European Championships, took 5th place at last year's World Junior Championships, and is now one step closer to the podium. He received a score of 13,100 for fourth place.

"The fact is that I am 4th in Europe, but I am not very satisfied. The exercise was clean all the way to the very end, where I made two mistakes, and it cost me medals, even the silver. But, all in all, with the state of my hand, and also a lot of problems with my wrist, this is also good. During the warm-up, both my hands ached, I was convulsing, I thought I wouldn’t be able to do any element at all, especially not the whole exercise. But I got it all out of my head and said ‘whatever happens will be,’ and here I am, 4th in the end. I know I have to be satisfied, but I need a little more time to cool down," Mateo said after the final.

Liam Rabić (ZTD Hrvatski Sokol), another pearl from the factory of coach Lucijan Krce, who created world champion Tin Srbic, celebrated his 17th birthday in Mersin on Thursday, and he wished for this final, his first European, as a gift. In the end, he came in fifth place with a score of 13,066.

"I am satisfied because I gave my best; I think I did the best I could. I was expecting a higher score, but I'm also happy with this. I have no objections. After this, I now have a lot of work to do on the new elements and actually just a lot of training," Liam said.

After Mersin, Croatian juniors have participated in 15 finals at the European Championships since Croatian independence, and have won two medals.

Source: HRT

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Friday, 11 December 2020

34th European Men's Gymnastics Championships: Six Croatian Gymnasts to Chase Gold in Final

December 11, 2020 - As many as six Croatian gymnasts will compete for medals in Mersin, Turkey, on Sunday as part of the European Championships - juniors Liam Rebić and Mate Žugec on the pommel horse, and seniors Aurel Benović on the floor, Filip Ude and Robert Seligman on the pommel horse, and Tin Srbić on the horizontal bar.

Of the entire Croatian delegation, Jakov Vlahek did not make the finals, as he came 14th on the pommel horse. Tin Srbić, the defender of the European silver medal, received the best score of 14,333 in the qualifying round. Aurel Benović deserved his first European final by coming in sixth in the qualifications.

"I went through the qualifiers at this year’s strange European Championships. Honestly, I planned to go into the exercise with a start of 6.2; in the end, it turned out to be 5.8 because I started off poorly, pulled out the jumps, and decided to throw out the "Možnik" element in the middle of the exercise. It would be a little too much for me at that point. I felt like it was training. There are certainly no such calculations in the finals, and I am going with my best exercise, and we are going to attack the medals," said Srbić.

As expected, there were many big names in Turkish gymnastics (Ibrahim Colak, Ahmet Onder) in the finals, and it is a great pity that we cannot see top Russian and French gymnasts in Mersin who canceled their arrival.

Due to the pandemic, Mersin, Turkey replaced Baku, Azerbaijan, where the European Gymnastics Championships were to be held this spring. So far, the strangest EP in the history of gymnastics is being held with strong epidemiological measures and daily COVID-19 testing. The entire national team of Azerbaijan and the juniors from Serbia have already returned home due to infection.

Hard times, but we must wait for Sunday.

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Monday, 23 December 2019

Croatian Sport 2019: A Year in Review

December 23, 2019 - How did this year compare to Croatia’s most successful year in sport? A look at Croatian sport in 2019. 

It seemed as though nothing could quite compare to 2018. It was the year Croatian football became World Cup finalists. The year Croatia brought home the Davis Cup trophy and thus gained sweet revenge on France. A year so successful, we’d never seen anything like it in Croatian history. 

As 2019 began, I was hardly optimistic.

“How could we be so lucky again?”

Fortunately, the year was full of pleasant surprises. It was a year that saw our young talents thrive. A year that saw countless triumphs in both individual and team sports. It was another epic year in Croatian sport.

Here is our  2019 year in review. 

Croatia Handball: 2019 began with the Men’s Handball World Championship, which featured Croatia in Group B. After four impressive wins against Iceland, Japan, Macedonia, and Bahrain, Croatia met Spain to decide the winner of the group. After topping Spain 23:19, Croatia went on to win Group B and continued to the main round of the tournament. Croatia was not so lucky there, losing to Brazil 29:26 and Germany 21:22, which ultimately took them out of the fight for the medal. A win against France for the final game of the main round restored their morale, though a loss to Sweden, in the end, saw Croatia finish the tournament as the 6th best team in the world. Croatia will play in the European Championships next month against Montenegro, Belarus and Serbia in Graz. 

Franko Grgic: Promising Croatian swimmer, 16-year-old Franko Grgic, won two gold swimming medals in the 800-meter and 1500-meter races at this year's World Junior Championships, and was even selected among the five finalists for the Piotr Nurowski Award, which as awarded by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) for the ninth time. Though he didn’t win the award in the end, he made sure he was on everyone’s swimming radar. The PK Jadran Split swimmer had an outstanding August, celebrating two gold medals and achieving new records at the 7th FINA World Junior Swimming Championships in Budapest. After winning the gold in the 800-meter-freestyle while breaking a Croatian record, the 16-year-old swimming sensation became the world champion in the 1500-meter-freestyle and achieved a new world junior record with a time of 14:46.09 minutes. Grgic swam 10.46 seconds faster in Budapest than his best-ever record in the 1500 meters, which was also Croatia's national record. Franko’s previous career-fastest in the 800-meter free was achieved in Zagreb in March, where he swam 7:53.75. In Budapest, however, Grgic was 8 seconds faster, thus breaking the Croatian record held by Marin Mogic (7:51:78). Grgic was thus named the 25th fastest performer of all-time, any age, in this 800-meter freestyle. At the beginning of the year, Grgic won the gold in the 400-meter and 1500 meter at the EYOF in Baku, and also hit the Olympic standard for Tokyo 2020. We can’t wait to see him in Tokyo next summer.

 

Croatia Basketball: It wasn’t the greatest year for Croatia basketball, which failed to qualify for the World Cup in China back in August. However, with new coach Veljko Mrsic on the bench, Croatia still has a chance to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. The light at the end of the tunnel to 2019 was the welcoming news that Split would be host to the 2020 Olympic Qualifying tournament next June, where Croatia will face Tunisia and Brazil, and crossover with Germany or Russia. It will be the strongest tournament played on Croatian ground since EuroBasket 1989 in Zagreb. But not all was bleak. In the NBA, Croatia captain Bojan Bogdanovic saw a stellar transfer to the Utah Jazz this summer, where he’s been playing the basketball of his career. Ivica Zubac is still a hit at the LA Clippers and Dario Saric is finding his footing better at the Phoenix Suns. Croatia also boasts a record seven players in the NBA this season. To end on a high, two legendary Croatian basketball players Toni Kukoc and Giuseppe ‘Pino’ Giergia have been listed among the 50 candidates nominated for the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Illinois. 

Dina Levacic: Another year, another swimming success for Dina Levacic! In 7 hours, 13 minutes and 15 seconds, 23-year-old Solin native Dina Levacic completed the Tsugaru Strait to complete the fourth open water channel swim out of the seven in the 'Oceans Seven' challenge. The channel is located between Japan's largest island, Honshu and Hokkaido, and high waves and strong frontal wind accompanied the Croatian swimmer the entire way. The member of the Split Swimming Club set one of her best times and became only the 67th person to complete the Tsugaru Strait.

The ‘Ocean Seven’ is a series of seven international swimming marathons, modeled after the Seven Summits mountaineering challenge. Dina Levačić had already swum three marathon channels from the ‘Ocean Seven’ series before attempting the Tsugaru: Catalina Channel, English Channel (La Manche) and Moloka’i Channel. After the Tsugaru Strait in Japan, Dina will still need to overcome the North Channel between Northern Ireland and Scotland, the Strait of Gibraltar between Europe and Africa and the Cook Strait in New Zealand.

Croatia Football: On the heels of the greatest sporting success in Croatian history, the Croatia football team did not disappoint this year. Croatia’s Euro 2020 qualifiers kicked off back in March against Azerbaijan, where they won 2:1 at home. A shocking loss to Hungary stirred the pot, though wins against Wales and Slovakia put Croatia back on their feet. Draws to Wales and Azerbaijan complicated Croatia’s road to the Euros only slightly, as big wins against Hungary and Slovakia in the return games sealed the deal. Croatia not only qualified for the Euros next summer, but they finished at the top of their qualifying group. 2019 was also a pivotal year for Croatian football, as it will be remembered as the year the national team returned to Poljud stadium in Split for the first time since 2015. Croatia played to a sold-out stadium and coach Zlatko Dalic called it the best atmosphere they’d experienced. The Euros await Croatia next year, where they will face England, the Czech Republic, and the winner of the Nations League C (Norway/Serbia v Scotland/Israel). 

Dinamo Zagreb: It was another successful year for Dinamo Zagreb, who clinched the Croatian Championship title for the 20th time back in April after defeating Slaven Belupo. Dinamo secured the title six rounds before the end of the season and 23 points ahead of Rijeka in second. While Rijeka went on to win the Croatian Cup, Dinamo went on to have an impressive Champions League campaign. After soaring through the Champions League qualifiers and playoff round, Dinamo advanced to the Group Stage against Manchester City, Atalanta, and Shakhtar Donetsk. Dinamo opened their seventh Champions League appearance against Atalanta at Maksimir stadium with a shocking 4:0 victory. They fell to City both times, drew to Shakhtar twice, and couldn’t do itagainst Atalanta the second time around. The Zagreb club finished last in their group and will not continue their European run in the spring. 

Croatia Water Polo: It was a busy year for the Croatia water polo team, which began with the Europa Cup in Zagreb, where Croatia failed to defend the title after losing to Hungary in the final. From the Europa Cup to the World League Super Final in Serbia, Croatia went on to defeat Kazakhstan, Australia, Japan, and Spain for a spot in the final against Serbia, where they lost by one goal. The summer continued with the World Championships, where Croatia was again better than Australia,  the USA, and Kazakhstan. They defeated Germany in the quarterfinal but lost to Spain in the semis to miss their chance in the final. Croatia did, however, beat Hungary for third place. Croatia will compete in the Euros next month, where they will have to finish at the top to secure their spot in the Tokyo Olympics next summer. Croatia water polo ended the year with yet another impressive recognition as two team members are among the top seven in the world - Maro Jokovic and Josip Vrlic.

Croatia Tennis: Unlike last year, where Croatia took home the Davis Cup title, this year saw a Croatia squad plagued with injuries and a new coach just days before the tournament was to begin. Croatia didn’t make it out of their group this time around after falling to Russia and Spain, but they can be proud of their individual achievements. Osijek native Donna Vekic made it to the Nottingham final where she lost to Caroline Garcia.  She even advanced to the round of 16 at the Cincinnati Masters, Roland Garros, and the US Open. Petra Martic defeated 19-year-old Czech player Markéta Vondroušová to get her first WTA title at the Istanbul Cup.  Martic also secured the fourth WTA final of her career at the Zhengzhou Open, where she lost to Karolina Pliskova, and also faced Serena Williams in the US Open round of 16. Both Petra and Donna played in the WTA Elite Trophy tournament, which brings together female tennis players ranked 9th to 19th on the WTA ladder. Borna Coric made it to the semifinal of the Dubai Open, Rosmalen, and St. Petersburg, where he ultimately went on to the final. Marin Cilic’s first semifinal in fourteen months wasn’t until the Kremlin Cup back in October. The real star of Croatian tennis this year is Ivan Dodig, who won two ATP doubles titles with Filip Polasek, at the China Open and the Cincinnati Masters. Dodig also won the Wimbledon mixed doubles title with Latisha Chan and defended their Roland Garros title just weeks before. 

Sandra Perkovic: Sandra Perkovic failed to defend the world championship title in the discus throw this year, which she won two years ago in London, but still secured a medal at the World Championships in Doha. Namely, Perkovic won the bronze medal after throwing 66.72 meters in the first series of the finals, while Cubans Yaime Perez and Denia Caballero were the gold and silver medalists. This was Sandra’s fourth medal at the World Championships. Sandra became the world champion in Moscow in 2013 and London in 2017 and won the silver in Beijing in 2015. In addition to four world championship medals, Perkovic is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and five-time European champion.

Croatia Gymnastics: It was another big year for Tin Srbic, who won the silver medal at the European Championships in Szczecin in the horizontal bar event. The Croatian gymnast went on to win the gold medal with an impressively high score of 14.900 points at the World Cup in Paris, and ended the year with a silver medal at the World Championships in Stuttgart. He was also named the best Croatian male athlete by the Croatian Olympic Committee. 

 

Croatia’s best female gymnast Ana Đerek won the gold medal at the World Cup competition in Osijek after a brilliant floor performance, and Robert Seligman advanced to the Cottbus World Cup finals in the pommel horse. 

Sinkovic Brothers: The dynamic duo did it again! The year began with a second-place medal in the coxless pairs at the World Cup in Plovdiv, though it only went up from there. Martin and Valent Sinkovic defended their world rowing championship title in the coxless pairs in Linz-Ottensheim, Austria, qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, and ended the year as the best rowing team in the world, declared by the FISA World Rowing Organization!

Snjezana Pejcic: Croatia's best female shooter Snjezana Pejcic and her Indian teammate Divyansh Singh Panwar won the mixed team air rifle competition to wrap up the World Cup final in Putian, China. Pejcic has already qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which will be her fourth appearance at the Olympic Games. 

Croatia Taekwondo: The Croatia national team finished their appearance at the European Senior Championships with three medals - silver medals for Lovro Brecic and Toni Kanaet and a bronze for Matea Jelic. 

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Dino Sinovcic: Croatian Paralympian Dino Sinovcic won the 100m backstroke gold medal in the S6 category at the WPS World Paralympic Championships in London. Sinovic won at the Queen Elizabeth Aquatic Center with a time of 1:15.46, ahead of the Chinese swimmer Hong Yang who swam a time of 1:15.47 for the silver, and Argentine Matias De Andrade, who swam a time of 1:16.91 for the bronze. 

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Stipe Miocic: The 36-year-old Croatian-American Stipe Miocic defeated 40-year-old American Daniel Cormier by a knockout in the fourth round of the UFC 241 fight held in Anaheim, California. Stipe thus won sweet revenge on Cormier and brought back the UFC Heavyweight Champion title to Ohio after he lost it to Cormier in Las Vegas 13 months before. The fight between Miocic and Cormier lasted more than 19 minutes, in which the title defender had more significant blows (123-98). 

Croatia Karate: The karate gold and silver came to Croatia thanks to the brilliant Kvesic brothers from Karate club Hercegovina-Zagreb. At this year's European Games in Minsk, Ivan Kvesic won the gold medal while his brother Anđelo Kvesic secured the silver. Croatian representatives returned home with eight medals from the European Games in Minsk - two gold, one silver and five bronze.

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

Friday, 20 December 2019

Croatian Olympic Committee Names Tin Srbic, Sandra Perkovic Best Athletes of 2019

December 20, 2019 -  Athlete Sandra Perkovic and gymnast Tin Srbic were named the best Croatian athletes by the Croatian Olympic Committee (HOO), while rowers Martin and Valent Sinkovic were named best crew, couple or relay for the seventh consecutive time.

HRT writes that Perkovic won the title of the best Croatian female athlete for a record eighth time in a row, while the world and European champion Srbic was named for the second time by the Croatian Olympic Committee.

“It hasn’t been going well for me lately, but the Tokyo Olympics are coming. We had a miracle in Rio, with ten medals, and I think in Tokyo, Croatian athletes can win more. I started with preparations stronger than in the previous years, and after London and Rio, there are secret desires that I want to fulfill in Tokyo. I just need to stay healthy,” said Perkovic, who won bronze in the discus throw at the Doha World Championships this year.

Gymnast Tin Srbic became the best Croatian athlete for the second time and announced that he is competing for the medal in Tokyo next year. Srbic was the finalist at the World Championships on the horizontal bar in Germany's Stuttgart, and earlier this year, Tin also won the silver medal at the European Championships in Szczecin.

“Two years ago, I was the world champion, and for the first time, the laureate of the HOO. Everything happened so suddenly. Now, I'm more aware of my great results. I dream of Tokyo and I can't wait for it,” said Srbic briefly.

The brothers Valent and Martin Sinkovic dominated the coxless pairs in 2019, becoming European champions in Lucerne in June, and world champions three months later in Linz. They also took home the International Rowing Federation’s title of Best Male Crew in 2019.

“We are training, there are no injuries and we are ready for Tokyo - and we feel ready for the Paris Olympics in five years. Coach Bralic also recently got a new hip for us, so he will be ready for Paris as well. The transition to a new discipline has proven to be excellent and we plan to take the gold in Tokyo,” Martin Sinkovic said.

The success of the Sinkovic brothers was complemented by their coach Nikola Bralic, who won the title of the best Croatian coach for the fourth time.

“We will strive to maintain the level we’ve had so far in the next year. So that we remain the best,” Bralic commented briefly.

The most successful team in 2019 goes to Croatia water polo, as they won the bronze at the World Championships in South Korea's Gwangju, while the best women's team is the Croatian bowling team, which won the World Championships in the Czech Republic.

The award for the best Croatian sports promoter in the world went to Luka Modric. His father Stipe received the award on Luka's behalf.

HOO's traditional Matija Ljubek Lifetime Achievement Awards went to Vinko Dobric, Tennis Club Osijek, the Croatian Rowing Federation, Lokomotiva Zagreb Handball Club and DOŠK Basketball Club from Drnis.

The HOO's special award for fair play went to Valentina Pereglin, a member of the Croatian crossbow team, while special recognition for promoting sports went to Sports Television (SPTV).

Until December 10 this year, Croatian athletes competed in 138 world championships, 185 European championships, 111 world and 59 European cups. A total of 384 medals were won at the international competitions, of which 119 are gold, 101 are silver, and 164 are bronze.

“This year was extremely successful, which will be followed by an exciting sports year in 2020, the Olympic year with the Games in Tokyo, the year of the European Handball, Water Polo and Football Championships, and the Davis Cup. Next year, there will be as many as 1060 performances by Croatian athletes internationally, which is a really big number. Croatia is a superpower in sport; to this day, we have 125 athletes in the Olympic program, and we will surely go to Tokyo with many of our athletes for new successes,” said HOO President Zlatko Matesa.

The ceremony at the Westin Hotel in Zagreb was attended by many prominent sports and social figures in Croatia, as well as the Japanese Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia.

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

Monday, 14 October 2019

Gymnast Tin Srbic Wins Silver at World Championships in Stuttgart

October 14,  2019 -  Croatia’s best gymnast Tin Srbic won the silver medal at the World Championships in the men’s horizontal bar final on the last day of the competition in Stuttgart, Germany. He even performed in the final with an injured wrist.

Namely, HRT reports that the 2017 World Champion in Montreal had to practice with a lower starting grade due to an injury, but with a very accurate performance, he earned a total score of 14,666 points, which was enough for the silver medal.

 

The world champion is Brazilian Arthur Mariano, who achieved a score of 14,900 points, while the bronze medal went to Russo Artur Dalaloyan (14,533), who also won the silver medal in the vault on Sunday.

After winning the silver medal in Stuttgart, young Croatian gymnast Tin Srbic won his fourth Croatian medal at the World Championships and his 11th at major international competitions.

Srbic also became the first Croatian gymnast with two medals at the World Championships. Recall, the Zagreb gymnast won the gold medal two years ago in Montreal, and now in Stuttgart, he’s booked the silver.

However, Srbic isn’t the only Croatian to take home a medal this weekend. Filip Ude celebrated the silver medal on the pommel horse, while Mario Moznik received a medal on the bars. 

This is Ude’s second medal after the at the 2014 World Championships in Nanning, while Moznik won third in the same championship.

Let's add that Srbic has won a total of eleven medals for Croatia at the Olympics, World and European Championships.

Namely, Croatia has received one medal at the Olympics and one silver thanks to Filip Ude in Beijing in 2008. Croatian gymnasts have won four medals at the World Championships and six at the European championships.

You can watch videos of Tin's performance on HRT here

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

Monday, 16 September 2019

Tin Srbic Wins Gold Medal at Gymnastics World Cup in Paris

September 16, 2019 - Celebrated Croatian gymnast Tin Srbic made an international comeback in a big way. In the final of the World Cup in Paris, Tin owned the competition to win the gold medal with an impressively high score of 14.900 points.

HRT reports that this competition is the first since the World Cup in Osijek back in May for the former world champion and current European vice-champion, and this gold medal is the first to shine for Srbic after March and Doha. This gold medal in Paris is the sixth in the World Cup for Srbic. However, worth more than the gold medal itself is the fact that Tin won valuable points in the fight to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, and has kicked off with excellent preparation for the Stuttgart World Championship.

“It was very difficult for me because the qualifications and final are within 24 hours, so your hands are heavy, but the agreement with the trainer was to do the strongest exercise no matter what, and that's what I did. I made a small mistake because I failed to connect all four flight elements, so the initial rating was 6.3, not 6.5. All in all, I am very pleased with what I have done, and I am ready for the World Championship! And now, I can finally have a real dinner and the best burger I have ever eaten, which is another reason why I like coming to Paris,” Tin said after the final in a cheerful mood.

Russian Sergei Eltcov (14.700) took second place in the final, while Taiwanese gymnast Chia-Hung Tang came in third with a score of 14.550.

Next week, the Croatia national team awaits a new World Cup station - in Guimaraes, Portugal. Matija Baron and Renato Prpic, as well as Aurel Benovic, will perform again, while Croatia’s female gymnasts Ana Dzherek, Tijana Tkalcec, and Petra Furac will begin their path to the Portugal podium.

After winning the gold medal, Tin Srbic returns to Zagreb before his next challenge - the Stuttgart World Championship.

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

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