Sunday, 5 September 2021

16 Tokyo Olympic Medalists Coming to Zagreb for 71st Boris Hanžeković Memorial

September 5, 2021 - The 71st Boris Hanžeković Memorial will be held at Zagreb's Mladost Stadium on September 13 and 14!

The 71st Boris Hanžeković Memorial - Continental Tour Gold Athletic Rally was recently presented at a press conference in Zagreb. The director of the rally, Robert Šola, pointed out that 11 Olympic champions, 7 world champions, and 16 medal winners from the Tokyo Olympics have already confirmed their participation.

"I can say that we will watch the rally even better than those we have enjoyed all these years. This year, for the first time, we will sell tickets for the Boris Hanžeković Memorial through Entrio, i.e., " Tickets are already on sale. 

The new manager of the rally, Alfons Juck, presented some of the strongest disciplines.

"We have already announced that Sandra Perković will have the opportunity for a rematch against Olympic winner in the discus throw, Valarie Allman, who is also coming to Zagreb. All three medal winners from Tokyo will compete in the men's discus, and I believe that Daniel Stahl could throw the discus over 70 meters."

Juck announced three sprint disciplines and listed the main stars. Namely, in the 110-meter hurdles, Tokyo Olympic winner Hansle Parchment, Tokyo bronze medalist Ronald Levy, and Devon Allen, fourth from Tokyo. In the 100 meters (M): first in the world Trayvon Bromell - 9.77, Olympic finalist Ronnie Baker - 9.83, Ferdinand Omurwa - 9.86. In the 200m, Tokyo silver medalist Christine Mboma, Tokyo bronze medalist in the 100m and gold in the 4x100m relay Shericka Jackson,  and Tokyo silver medalist in the 400m Marileidy Paulino.

On Tuesday, September 14, spectators could witness a historic moment at Zagreb's Mladost Stadium. Can the 800-meter race end in under 1:44.00?

There is a good chance that the Zagreb record (1:44.05, and held by Niel Amos) will be forgotten, as four athletes are coming to Zagreb who ran a better time.

The biggest favorite is Bosnia & Herzegovina national Amel Tuka, world runner-up and participant in the final race of the Olympic Games (6th). His personal record is 1:42.51. Next to him are two Kenyan runners - Elias Ngeny (1:43.84) and Patrick Saruni (1:43.25). In addition, the competition is strengthened by the arrival of Puerto Rican Wesley Vazquez (1:43.83). And that's not all. 

At last year's edition, British athletes took their places on the podium, but can last year's winner - Daniel Rowden, Elliot Giles (2nd), and 22-year-old, talented Thomas Randolph (Zagreb debutant) repeat their success? Peter Bol also has a legitimate chance of winning after winning fourth place in the 800-meter race in Tokyo.

With so many great runners, this will surely be one of the strongest 800-meter races in the history of the Zagreb event.

The Boris Hanžeković Memorial is the oldest sporting event in Croatia. It is also one of the world's best athletics meetings. It has been held since 1951 in honor of hurdler Boris Hanžeković, who was killed in WWII. 

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Saturday, 24 July 2021

Croatia Tennis at Olympic Games: Wins for Mektić and Pavić, Marin Čilić in First Round!

July 24, 2021 - Croatia tennis at Olympic Games -  a good start as Croatian doubles team Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić move to the 2nd round, as does Croatia's only male representative in the singles tournament - Marin Čilić!

Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić have overcome their first obstacle in the Olympic tournament. In the first round, they played against Marcelo Demoliner and Marcelo Melo and celebrated 7:6, 6:4. 

Brazilians Marcelo Demoliner and Marcelo Melo offered strong resistance to Nikola Mektić and Mato Pavić, but the Croatian pair was still better and took the deserved victory.

Mektić and Pavić are the favorites for gold, but surprises are not uncommon at the Olympic Games. 

The Croatian team was on the verge of losing the first set in which the Brazilians led 5:0, but by the end of the tie-break, Mektić and Pavić made it 8:1 and took the 13th game with 8:6.

In the second set, there were no breaks until the very end, when Mektić and Pavić reached 5:40 at 5:4. They had their second match point and advanced to the second round.

In the second round, they will play against the winners of Spain's Andujar / Carballes Baena and Italy's Musetti / Sonego.

Marin Čilić, the only male Croatian tennis player in the singles competition of the Olympics, advanced to the 2nd round with a big turnaround, defeating Brazilian Joao Menezes (ATP - 217th) 6:7 (5), 7:5, 7:6 (7) after three hours and 23 minutes of play.

Čilić finished the match with 12 aces, 12 double faults, and a first-serve percentage of only 54%. He made 49 unforced errors compared to Menezes' 27 and realized only five of the 17 break points he had.

Čilić's opponent in the 2nd round will be Spaniard Pablo Carreno-Busta (ATP - 11th) who defeated American Tennys Sandgren 7:5, 6:2. Čilić is 4-0 against the Spaniard in mutual matches.

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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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Tuesday, 20 July 2021

5-7 Olympic Medals Expected for Croatia in Tokyo, Says Siniša Krajač

July 20, 2021 - Croatian Olympic Committee Secretary-General Siniša Krajač revealed the main challenges that the COC and he personally will face in his current term as the first operative of the umbrella sports association and what we can expect from Croatia in Tokyo this summer. 

In an interview with Sportske Novosti, Siniša Krajač revealed to editor-in-chief Robert Šola that demography is a burning national problem and a potentially big problem for the future of Croatian sport because "the base from which we draw sports talents is getting smaller." In this context, he also mentioned the importance of constant investment in sports, especially in sports at the local level, "where it all starts," that is - where future top athletes come to us to a large extent. He spoke with a lot of passion about team sports and pointed out that Croatia is a sports nation with great achievements in individual sports.

The Olympic Games (July 23 - August 8) are an indispensable topic when Croatian athletes are heading to Tokyo every day. With a strong desire for all our representatives to stay healthy during the Games, the Secretary-General estimated the number of Olympic medals in Tokyo, which ranges from five to seven medals. Siniša Krajač is very optimistic about Tokyo, although a slightly smaller number of athletes will represent Croatia.

"We are going for 5 to 7 medals: Alarms are set in sports, but the situation is not tragic, in a small base of the sports active population we have no right to drop a single talented child," writes Robert Šola, editor-in-chief of SN.

Most of the Croatian athletes are already in Tokyo, and the rest will follow them very soon. 

"A positive case on a plane can mean goodbye to an athlete and everything they have worked and prepared for years to be at the peak of their career in Tokyo. But, unfortunately, that cannot be changed; Japan has their own approach to everything that has to do with COVID," says Siniša Krajač, who has acted as Secretary-General Secretary of the Croatian Olympic Committee for two months now.

Croatia will have the smallest number of athletes at the Games since Barcelona. Should we be worried?

"As I emphasized in my first interviews after I became Secretary-General, we need to worry about the fact that our sport is in decline and that there is a real danger that this decline will take a more vertical direction than we have today. Not because we are not doing well, or because we do not care about sports, but also because we have an obvious shortage of coaches and young people who play sports. We must all be aware that only about 400,000 young people between the ages of 12 and 19 live in the country at the moment. It is a minimal base, and we have to draw future Olympic winners, medalists, and participants. In such a small base, we have almost no right to drop a single talented child, which means that we must provide our children with optimal conditions for playing sports. Of course, as a state, we must work on the demographics of society because the trend is by no means good."

Unfortunately, Croatia has dealt with demography issues for years, but taking care of sports is not even close to good. Only 59 athletes at the Games also bring a lot of concern?

"The handball players were a second or two away from the Games; if they were in Tokyo, the numbers would already be similar to those in Rio. And we will agree that handball players have a place at the Games. I am also sorry for the basketball players; we constantly hope that basketball will rise and return to where it belongs. But I am aware of the problems we have in sports; I would say that the alarm is already burning and that there is no tragedy. And this number of athletes in Tokyo is respectable and has a high quality."

How can the COC help address such issues?

"We are specific in ourselves because we have an extensive range of activities. Top sport, local sport and recreation, are our three core activities. Athletes, however, are created at the local level, it is clear to everyone in the sport. And we, as the COC, have long been aware of this. I would say that the state is aware of that as well. The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has increased allocations for local sports. Both the state and the COC encourage local communities to invest more in sports; we are working on that synergy without which there can be no results. We work to the maximum to bring back to local communities sports that were specific in their environment, in which they had top results. Times are changing, but this tradition in local communities is still strong, and I am convinced that a lot can be done and returned to the old, and even for the better."

Siniša Krajač talked about team sports with a lot of passion, but also turned to individual sports.

"I would by no means put individual sports in second; we have risen strongly in them, laid a healthy foundation, they bring us medals, but also children who enjoy doing these sports. Judo has a great run, karate, and taekwondo too, and there are plenty more good examples."

Unfortunately, some claim that investing in sports is a waste of money?

"Investing in sports cannot be a waste of money; it can only be a great investment. Sport certainly contributes far more to society and the common good than we invest in it. This can be proven through many parameters. We are evidently falling for several health issues. We have an excessive percentage of obese and inactive children, which is probably the most dangerous and saddest thing for any nation and its health. We don’t have enough physical activities in schools; some don’t even have gyms. And it’s something that can’t be resolved overnight, but it has to start to be addressed. And that systematically. Let's invest in sports because there is no greater investment in health. We as a state must understand that. Sport also brings numerous economic privileges. With the matches come athletes, spectators, foreign clubs come to the preparations ... Not to repeat that athletes are our greatest ambassadors in the world, and we know they are."

How many medals are expected at the Games?

"Five to seven. I wouldn’t want to name what those medals are; I don’t want to pressure anyone. In Tokyo, the conditions for athletes will be truly extraordinary, far different from those they are used to. Such conditions will require quick adaptation, and our athletes are such that they do their best in the most difficult moments, to surprise when it is least expected. We have a talent for adaptation, I would say perhaps the best in the world because we are such a nation. After all, we are masters of improvisation. Our athletes know what awaits them. The Americans waited at the airport for six hours upon arrival to be released. On the other hand, ours did not sleep for 40 hours, except for a little on the plane. And when you land, there are problems, waiting, testing, uncertainty, completed or unfilled applications." 

And at the end of it all, no fans?
"Sport is also played for the sake of spectators, but health should be a priority at this moment. The games always have a special atmosphere in the village, in the host city, in the indescribable atmosphere that reigns in the halls and stadiums. Unfortunately, now that is not the case ... But the Games will be held; sports will not be surrendered."

You can read the full interview HERE

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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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Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Croatian Olympic Committee President Attacks Tokyo Organizers Over Marinić Isolation

July 14, 2021 - Croatian Olympic Committee president Zlatko Mateša has criticized the Tokyo organizers after Croatian canoeist Matija Marinić ended up in self-isolation. 

"The system in Tokyo is unsustainable, we ask the IOC to protect athletes," said the president of the Croatian Olympic Committee, Zlatko Mateša, after Matija Marinić, the first Croatian athlete to arrive in Tokyo for the Olympic Games, ended up in self-isolation, reports HRT.

The best Croatian whitewater canoeist came to Japan a week ago, and received the decision on Tuesday morning that he must spend the next week in quarantine. Namely, there was an infected passenger on the flight Marinić and his coach Stjepan Perestegi took to Japan.

Matija Marinić was vaccinated, he has no symptoms, and he has ten days of daily coronavirus testing behind him, eight of which he did in Japan, but still had to end up in self-isolation.

"This system is simply unsustainable. What is the benefit to an athlete staying in Japan and spending time in isolation, with a lot of testing and evidence that he is not infected? The Olympic Games have already been lost for our Matija Marinić, even if he performed at them, as planned from July 25. Who can compensate him for the years of training and preparation, effort and sacrifice that he invested for his first Olympic appearance?" said Zlatko Mateša.

"This is a glaring example of the inability of the organizers to deal with the problems associated with the pandemic. We ask the International Olympic Committee to protect athletes who prove their health status by daily tests and not to be subjected to such rigorous and unfounded measures, because then everything loses its meaning," the COC president added.

The COC appealed the self-isolation decision for Marinić, and the Deputy Head of the COC Mission Petra Nosso explained that Marinić and his coach Stjepan Perestegi were in self-isolation based on their seats printed on their airline tickets. According to them, they were sitting close to the infected passenger. 

However, as they did not sit in those seats in the end, they were quite far from a potential source of infection.

Nosso added that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is trying to resolve this case through talks with a partner organizer - the Japanese government, which in such cases should be above the authority of a particular prefecture.

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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, 9 July 2021

Croatia Water Polo Team for Tokyo Announced

July 9, 2021- The Croatia water polo team for Tokyo has been announced by coach Ivica Tucak, two days earlier than originally announced. A look at the final team that will represent Croatia at the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The Croatia water polo team coach, Ivica Tucak, has announced a list of 13 players he is counting on at the Olympic Games in Tokyo (July 23 - August 8). Croatia will open its Olympic appearance in Group B on July 25 against Kazakhstan, followed by Serbia, Spain, Australia, and Montenegro.

In relation to the 19 players that the coach has had so far in the preparations, goalkeeper Toni Popadić, center Luka Lozina, defenders Hrvoje Benić, Andrija Bašić, and Rino Burić, and forward Franko Lazić have dropped out.

"The decision fell on a slightly faster team. My vision is that with a player more in the outside line, we gain speed, and we will compensate the position of a defender with some players, if necessary with the center because we now have Obradović who can play at 2 meters. So, we have somewhat wider possibilities," said coach Tucak after the announcement.

"The decision is not easy, these are never simple. I thanked all the players because they all gave their maximum in these preparations. I especially thanked Burić and Popadić who were at the Olympic qualifiers in Rotterdam. Especially Popadić because if it weren't for his defense against Russia on penalties, we wouldn't be on our way to Tokyo today. This is what is safe for me, even after consultation with associates, the best that Croatia can offer in Tokyo," concluded coach Tucak.

Before Tokyo, the national team will still play in the tournament in Cagliari - Sardinia Cup. Croatia will play its first game on Friday at 20:30 against Russia, while on Saturday at 19:00, they will play against the hosts Italy.

After the end of the tournament, on Sunday, the national team members will go home and gather again in Zagreb on July 15, when they will continue their preparations until they leave for Tokyo.


1. Marko Bijač (Olympiacos)

2. Ivan Marcelić (Mladost) 


3. Luka Lončar (Pro Recco)

4. Josip Vrlić (without a club)


5. Andro Bušlje, kapetan (Olympiacos)

6. Marko Macan (Waspo 98 Hannover)

7. Paulo Obradović (Jug Adriatic osiguranje)


8. Lovre Miloš (without a club)

9. Maro Joković, zamjenik kapetana (without a club)

10. Xavi Garcia (Jug Adriatic osiguranja)

11. Ante Vukičević (Marseille)

12. Luka Bukić (Jadran Split)

13. Loren Fatović (Jug Adriatic osiguranje)

Source: HVS

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Sunday, 4 July 2021

Final Olympic Preparations: Matija Marinić, Anamarija Govorčinović, and Vanesa Tot Ready for Tokyo

July 4, 2021 - Canoeists Matija Marinić, Anamarija Govorčinović, and Vanesa Tot are ready to go to the Olympic Games in Tokyo. These three athletes will participate in the Olympics for the first time.

Marinić travels to Japan on Monday, and the other two athletes two and a half weeks later.

Anamarija Govorčinović is the first Croatian kayaker on calm waters to participate in the Olympic Games, and Vanesa Tot is the first Croatian canoeist to win a place in this prestigious competition. In addition, Matija Marinić will compete in the canoe slalom on wild waters, a discipline in which Croatia already had representatives at the Olympic Games.


"Seconds separated me from performing at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Since I have been dreaming of competing in the Olympics all my life, I was pleased when I managed to qualify for the Tokyo Games three years later. I look forward to the race. I will do my best to win a performance at the end of the competition, and then anything is possible. I hope that I will return to Croatia with a medal," said 31-year-old Matija Marinić, who has his last training before leaving for the Japanese capital on the Zagreb part of the Sava.

His coach Stjepan Perestegi has high expectations for his performance at the Olympic Games.

"In recent months, Matija has shown what and how much he can do. He won gold in the race in Tacen and bronze in Solkan. Therefore, he goes to Tokyo extremely well prepared. We will arrive on the trail next week; we will work on technique and tactics. We met the trial at the end of 2019. It is an artificial track that is technically very demanding. Now we need to adopt it in its entirety, and Matija needs to work on concentration and visualization because one wrong move can take him away from the desired result," said Stjepan Perestegi.


He added that due to epidemiological restrictions, Marinić will not have strength training in the hotel next to the trail where he will be accommodated for the first two weeks after arriving in Japan, but that he hopes that this will not affect his physical condition. Perestegi reckons that the explosiveness he possesses will bring Marinić closer to the podium.

Twenty-four-year-old Anamarija Govorčinović also intends to do her best.

"Performing at the Olympic Games is my dream that will come true. I will give my maximum and hope for the best. I am aware of how strong the competition is there, but that it is not enough to achieve your best time for a medal. It also takes a little luck," said Anamarija Govorčinović during training in Zagreb.


24-year-old Vanesa Tot, who trains intensively for the Olympic Games in Slavonski Brod, failed to meet with journalists in Zagreb with Matija Marinić and Anamarija Govorčinović.

Members of the Croatian Kayak Association in Tokyo expect stringent epidemiological rules. Marinić and Perestegi revealed that they had already received detailed instructions on protection against coronavirus infection. Athletes come to Japan in groups every two weeks. The groups do not mix with each other, and athletes will be able to enter the Olympic Village only a week before the Games. They will measure their own temperature and enter data about it into one of two applications created for epidemiological reasons. Every other day, athletes will need to test their saliva to successfully prevent the spread of the infection in the event of a coronavirus outbreak.


The Olympic Games will be held from July 23 to August 8, 2021.

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Saturday, 3 July 2021

Judoka Ivana Maranić Receives Olympic Invitation for First Time at 29!

July 3, 2021 - Ivana Maranić received an invitation to Tokyo to compete in the Games for the first time at 29. The Croatia judo team will have three representatives at the Olympics for the first time in history! 

The International Judo Federation (IJF) sent an invitation letter to participate in the Olympic tournament to the Croatia national team member Ivana Maranić in the over 78 kg category, reports HRT.

Maranić, a member of JK Panda from Zagreb, was seventh below the line for participation in Tokyo on the first list of the IJF. Still, due to injuries and the cancellation of better-ranked competitors, she received an invitation for her premiere performance at the Olympics at the age of 29. Thus, for the first time in history, Croatia judo will have three representatives at the Olympics, before the right to participate was secured by the world champion Barbara Matić (up to 70 kg) and Karla Prodan (up to 78 kg), members of JK Pujanke from Split.

Maranić is the winner of the world junior bronze medal from 2010. She works with coach Goran Strmotić and welcomed the news from the EJU training camp in Poreč.

"Huge luck! So many different feelings and thoughts in my head! Proud, happy, excited. After so many challenges and work, performing at the Olympic Games will be the crown of everything," said Maranić.

Croatian judo was represented by Marijana Mišković (up to 63 kg) and Tomislav Marijanović (up to 81 kg) at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and Barbara Matić (up to 70 kg) in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Numerous Olympic, world, and European champions are preparing for Tokyo at the camp in Poreč. Along with Barbara Matić, the current world champion Belgian Matthias Casse is also looking to focus and polish his form for a quality performance in Japan. Furthermore, the current Olympic winners from Rio de Janeiro in 2016, Czech Lukas Krpalek and Slovenian Tina Trstenja, are in Poreč preparing to defend their gold, and the European champions Belgian Toma Nikiforov, Kosovars Akil Gjakova, and Distria Krasniqi want new successes in Tokyo. 

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