Monday, 15 November 2021

Croatian Painter Krupa Awarded in Tokyo by the ICCPS

November 15, 2021 - Renowned Croatian painter Krupa was awarded the 'New Ink-Painting Art Award' for the work 'Kupa river in Ladešići' by the ICCPS in Tokyo, Japan.

An academic painter and an honorary doctor of modern ink painting Alfred Freddy Krupa (1971-) as an invited author was awarded the 'New Ink-Painting Art Award' for the work 'Kupa river in Ladešići' according to the decision of the jury of the International Society for Ink Chinese Calligraphy and Ink Painting (ICCPS) based in Tokyo, Japan.

In 2019, the 'Kupa in Ladešići' brought the Croatian painter Krupa the 'Grand Prize' and the title 'Artist of the Month' (, Dallas / TX /, USA).

All invited/awarded artists will be presented at the online exhibition (10th International Exhibition of Chinese Calligraphy and Ink Painting) which will be available from 15 to 21 November 2021. This exhibition is traditionally physically held every year in China, but this time it is organized online due to well-known exceptional circumstances. It should be emphasized that this is Krupa's third award in Asia. He was previously awarded twice in China (2013 / ICCPS Special Advisory Award / and 2018 / 1st place in the competition on the occasion of the Chinese Year of the Dog).





In addition, in 2017 he received another award in the form of recognition of the title 'Master of Watercolorists' by the International Watercolor Society - Hong Kong.

In 1996 he was the author of the Manifesto of the New Ink Art Movement, and in 1998 he received a postgraduate research scholarship from the Government of Japan as the first Croatian academic painter, and in the fall/winter of 1998/1999. conducted at Tokyo Gakugei University.

Since 2012, he has been an elected member of the International Society for Chinese Calligraphy and Ink Painting, North American Branch. He becomes a member by inviting the artist and formally receiving the founder after the person is nominated by other managers (directors of branches) in the company.


In 2014, the Zagreb ITG published the monograph 'Alfred Freddy Krupa', and the painter himself is the author of a number of published texts and several books.

One of his inks, "Neo - Minimalism, 2013 ", is in the TATE Gallery, Special Library Collection, and avant-garde work from the same art movement "The original artwork - Modern ink painting, what is it ?", is at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA, Manhattan Artist Book Collection). The Silesian Museum in Katowice (Poland) also acquired two works for its collection.


According to the 'General Lexicon of Artists' (Berlin, 2020), Krupa is the most important European artist in the segment of modern ink painting, and the British 'Aesthetica' (2019) describes him as a 'pioneer of modern ink painting for which he gained international recognition.'

At the beginning of 2019, Croatian painter Krupa was included in the TOP 10 Modern ink shower painters by

After a long series of awards and recognitions, the year 2021 began for him with “1. World Award in Painting 'and the title' Artist of the Year 2020 at the 13th International Art Festival' Interartia 'organized by the International Art Academy & Society ', Volos, Greece.

In the same style, it ends with this award in Japan.

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Thursday, 22 July 2021

From Water Polo to Rowing, Will Fitness Trainer Pero Kuterovac be Behind Croatia's Olympic Success?

July 22, 2021 - Fitness trainer Pero Kuterovac is known for bringing Olympic medals to Croatia. Will he do the same this year for Croatia water polo and rowing? 

Pero Kuterovac is a great strength for the Croatia water polo team - and his qualities in the fitness training of athletes are known outside of water polo. Pero Kuterovac was directly involved in three Croatia medals in Rio, including Damir Martin, who later, according to one study, was the most prepared athlete in Rio. He also worked with boxer Filip Hrgović, reports Sportske Novosti

For Tokyo, Kuterovac is again involved in three sports, and only one change has occurred.

"Yes, I worked with water polo players again, as well as with Damir Martin, but now swimming is the third sport because I worked with swimmer Nikola Miljanić before Tokyo."

Before the Games, Kuterovac advocates the thesis that the best results will be achieved by those who are the best to adapt to the unusual circumstances and all that they bring in terms of compliance.

"It will be something we are not used to. Admittedly, behind all of us is a season in which we learned what it means to be in a bubble, under measures. However, our mentality does not allow some prohibitions. We are all professionals, and we will do it all. But when the Chinese are told they have to sit there for three days, they sit and do not move. With us, it's a little harder. However, there is too much in the game; these are the Olympic Games, for which water polo players have been preparing painstakingly hard. Just take that we spent seven weeks in preparation, there was so much torment and tears, but we knew why we were doing all this. Now we are all a bit nervous and crazy, but we will channel everything, endure everything, arm ourselves with nerves because we have a big goal ahead of us."

Kuterovac has experience with athletes from different sports. Can he say firsthand how much harder it is for water polo players to prepare for a big competition than others?

"Water polo is the most demanding team sport. First, there is the highest energy consumption, then everything takes place in water, and this is not a medium that is specific to man, and thirdly, there is a lot more to train here than with land sports. In some shock microcycles, we now know how to train for eight hours a day. First, there was gym, swimming, then water polo. It’s challenging, difficult, but there’s a goal above all; it's the biggest motivator for a serious athlete. It was not difficult for me to motivate them to work; they did everything to the maximum. I am delighted that no one had any problems with injuries, and I take credit for that because we worked very hard on prevention. Athletes don’t like to do prevention, those stupid and boring things, but I insist on that. Every lost day due to stretching can be disastrous for our ultimate goal. And that is always a medal for us."

What secrets does Pero Kuterovac use in working with the best athletes?

"I'm a little different than everyone here. I’m quite talented; I’d say creative in manipulating people; I get into their heads easily. For example, Andro Bušlje and Maro Joković are here with about fifty medals won. Still, with them, it is the same as when I work individually, for example, with Bojan Bogdanović, who earns a lot of money. And that makes me successful because emotional and social intelligence at this level of sport is more important than anything. And I'm pretty good at it."

You mentioned Bušlje, Joković, Bogdanovć; they all turned 30. Do athletes work more when they are older than in their formative years?

"That's right, and that's, unfortunately, wrong. When they suffer an injury, they are cathartic. In general, the body is such that when you are younger, you recover faster; you can not sleep all night and train normally tomorrow. When you get to some more serious years, it’s different. Contrary to some books, I think the first threshold for that is 27 years, and then comes the threshold of 33, 34 years. So there are already some things to do more and in more detail, to take more care of recovery, training planning is different."

Pero Kuterovac will be at his sixth Games in Tokyo. From Sydney until now, he has always been part of the Croatian delegation. How satisfied would he be with a medal in Tokyo?

"Somehow, I think there should not be less than five, and ideally, there should be eight. That’s my estimate, but I hope I made a mistake, and there will be ten like Rio. Five, I say, should be with us because we have some athletes who dominate, such as the Sinković brothers, Sandra Perković, and Tin Srbić. Something is always won in archery, now there is a chance in martial arts, and there is, of course, water polo. So five minimum, eight would be great."

And finally, what kind of Damir Martin can we expect in Tokyo?

"Damir had a severe hip injury; he was in surgery in Munich, after which it took nine months to recover. For him, the pandemic turned out well because if the Games had been as planned last year, he would not have been able to perform. Since January, he is completely ready in every segment; there is no pain, there are no obstacles. In some of our tests, he almost returned to the level he had in 2016 in strength, power, endurance, speed endurance. I am looking forward to Damir's performance, and I think it will be a very nice surprise."

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Thursday, 15 July 2021

Matija Marinić Released from Self-Isolation in Tokyo, Back to Olympic Training

July 15, 2021 - The best Croatian wild water canoeist, Matija Marinić, returned to the track where he is preparing to compete at the Olympic Games in Tokyo after two days of self-isolation.

Due to possible contact with a coronavirus-infected passenger on the flight to Japan, Marinić and his coach Stjepan Perestegi were initially prescribed self-isolation for a week, however, after their appeals and with the support of the President of the Croatian Olympic Committee Zlatko Mateša and the Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia to Japan Dražen Hrastić, the decision was changed, reports HRT.

Marinić was provided with training on the track at a special time in the middle of the day. Upon arrival in Tokyo, the term was used by the British, whose country is on the list of those epidemiologically high-risk due to the spread of the Delta variant.

"We are grateful to everyone who had the heart to change the decision that jeopardized my performance at the Olympics. The decision was also changed for athletes from Ukraine and Canada who were quarantined at the same time as us. We are now training at a special time, but we are still banned from going down to the restaurant where other athletes go. That's what we were looking for. We will respect everything so that I can train, and give my maximum on the track on July 25th. I believe none of us have contracted the coronavirus. We have been vaccinated and behind us are ten negative tests since arriving in Japan," said Marinić after the first training on the track after a two-day break.

Perestegi is also satisfied with the change in the decision.

"This is the best example that the fight for medals starts off the track - in our heads. When he felt that the entire Croatian public was with him after leaving the track, Marinić received an additional urge to win a place in the finals of the Olympic Games, and to do his best in the fight for the medal," Perestegi pointed out.

Marinić and Perestegi are staying in the hotel near the track where they train for a few more days. After that, they move to the Olympic Village. The Olympic Games open on July 23, 2021.

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Monday, 12 July 2021

Croatian Olympic Committee Bids Farewell to Athletes Going to Tokyo!

July 12, 2021 - The Croatian Olympic Committee held a farewell ceremony in Zagreb for the athletes departing to Tokyo. 

As the first large group of Croatian athletes departs for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, the Croatian Olympic Committee (COC) traditionally organized a farewell ceremony for the Olympians and those who will become Olympians.


Slobodan Kadic

The ceremony was held on Monday, July 12, 2021, at 13.30 in the Crystal Hall of The Westin Hotel in Zagreb, the same hall where at the end of each year, the Croatian Olympic Committee proclaims and awards the country's sports heroes over the past 365 days.


Slobodan Kadic

In addition to athletes (Barbara Matić, Karla Prodan, Ivana Maranić, Damir Martin, Valent, and Martin Sinković, Šime and Mihovil Fantela, Elena Vorobeva, Toni Kanaet, Matea Jelić, Ivan Šapina, Kristina Tomić) and their coaches, the ceremony was attended by numerous sports dignitaries: Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac, IOC member from Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, and Ambassador of Japan to Croatia HE E. Misako Kaji.


Slobodan Kadic

The host of the event is the president of the Croatian Olympic Committee, Zlatko Mateša, and the general secretary Siniša Krajač. Thanks to Sports Television (SPTV), sports fans from all over Croatia could see the event live.

After the official confirmation from the Croatian Athletics Federation (HAS) that high jumper Ana Šimić and discus thrower Marija Tolj have been included in the list of athletes who will perform at the Olympic Games in Tokyo (July 23 - August 8, 2021), the Office for the Olympic Program of the Croatian Olympic Committee (COC) published the final list of Croatian Olympic hopes.

The list includes 58 athletes from 15 sports. However, there is only one team among them - the water polo team, which has the right to register 12 players and one reserve.

The number of athletes for the Olympic Games in Tokyo is the lowest since the premiere performance of Croatian Olympians under their own flag - in Barcelona in 1992 when there were 41 of them from 12 sports. The record is still held by the London 2012 Games, with 107 athletes from 18 sports.

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Friday, 20 March 2020

Croatian Athletes in Corona Crisis: Olympics on Schedule, Nowhere to Train

March 20, 2020 - With each passing day, Croatian athletes are one step closer to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, though the coronavirus crisis isn’t doing them any favors.

After it was announced that the Tokyo Olympics would remain on schedule for July 24 to August 9, madness ensued for athletes who had yet to qualify for the Games, reports

Many qualifying tournaments have been canceled, and the situation is even worse because they have been banned from practicing at their fields, pools, and gyms. 

There is no doubt that swimmers are particularly affected by these bans.

"We have the most problems with training, since all facilities are closed,” said Croatia swim team coach Lovrenco Franicevic.

For now, the games have been secured by the Split stars Franko Grgić and Marin Mogić. But many Croatian athletes are in trouble.

“With this Decision I can’t train, but there can be a solution. It is not many of us that need to be able to train, only around a hundred people," said President of the Croatian Athletic Association Ivan Vestic.

On the other hand, instructions were issued to close sports fields, sports halls, and gyms. Croatian athletics have four representatives so far, and several that are very close to qualifying. 

The Croatian Karate Federation celebrates 50 years. Ivan Kvesic sent them the best congratulations by qualifying for the Olympic Games. Karate will make its debut at the Summer Olympics in 2020, which resulted in earlier qualifications. 

Concerning basketball, Croatia is hunting for a spot at the Games, which they’ll need to win at a qualifying tournament to be held in Split at the end of June.

"I don't know, I think it's going to be difficult to play in that qualifying term because we don't know what the NBA is going to say. Because if the NBA league is going to play the full format after the break, then we're going to be without NBA players," said the Croatian Basketball Federation president Stojko Vranković.

The Croatia basketball team will only go to the Games if they win this tournament, which the government has allocated over 20 million kuna for so far. 

"The money that the Croatian government paid, if the tournament does not take place, we have to get back. So that we are not in a situation where the tournament is canceled on May 15 or June 1 and we have already paid 80, 90 percent of the funds," concludes Vranković.

The following days are uncertain for Croatian Olympians and those who dream of becoming one. Given the current circumstances, we can hardly expect much.

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Monday, 14 May 2018

Are Zagreb - Tokyo Flights on the Horizon?

Could we soon see the two capital cities connect?