Thursday, 1 July 2021

Split Olympic Basketball Qualifiers: Croatia Moves to Semis after Dramatic Win against Tunisia (75:70)

July 1, 2021 - Croatia moves to the semifinals of the Olympic basketball qualifiers in Split after a dramatic win against Tunisia. 

Croatia opened their Olympic qualifying campaign on Wednesday against Brazil at Spaladium Arena in Split. After three years, Croatia's best basketball player Bojan Bogdanović played an official game in the Croatia jersey again. 

After Brazil topped Croatia in their first game of the Olympic basketball qualifiers in Split on Wednesday (94:67), Croatia and Tunisia met on Thursday. The winner of the game would go to the semifinals. 

1st quarter

Bogdanović opened the scoring for Croatia with a 2pt fadeaway jump shot for 2:3. Bogdanović made two free throws to make it 4:5. Hezonja made 2/2 free throws for 5:5. 

Croatia took the lead at 7:5 thanks to a Hezonja dunk, and a layup seconds later made it 12:5! Hezonja was on fire. Tunisia called a timeout.

Ante Žižić nailed two free throws for 14:8. Hezonja scored his 10th point of the game for 16:8 with 2:27 to go. Žižić made a 2pt layup for 18:10. A Bilan dunk ended the 1st quarter 20:11.

2nd quarter 

Jordano scored a 2pt driving layup for 22:14 at the start of the 2nd quarter. Bilan nailed two free throws for 24:16. A layup and free throw by Bilan brought Croatia to 27:16 before Bogdanović made it 29:16 with 6 minutes to go. 

Žižić scored his 5th basket thanks to a free throw for the +10  Croatia lead (30:20). A Žižić dunk made it 32:20 and a free throw 33:22. 

Hezonja recorded his 13th point with a stunning 3-pointer for 36:22. Žižić was unstoppable, too, with a tip-in for 38:25. He scored again for 40:28 with just over a minute to go. Hezonja scored for a +14 lead (42:28) which was the score at the end of the 2nd quarter. 

3rd quarter 

Ukić started the 3rd quarter with a 2pt jump shot, but Tunisia came back to score 6 points for 46:36. Croatia's comfortable lead quickly diminished and they were only up 6 (46:40). Bogdanović nailed a 3-pointer to wake Croatia up for 49:40. Tunisia was only down by 4 with 5 minutes to go - 49:45. 

Hezonja scored a free throw and a 2pt jump shot for 52:47. Croatia was only up by 2 points with 2 minutes to go - 52:50. Hezonja scored for +4 (54:50). A shocking display by Croatia saw Tunisia take the lead thanks to a 3-pointer for 56:57 to end the 3rd quarter.

4th quarter

After a dramatic start to the final quarter, Bogdanvić scored a 3-pointer to put Croatia back in the lead by 2 (59:57). A tip-in by Marčinković made it 61:57.

Žižić dunked for 63:59 and Tunisia called a timeout. Hezonja scored for 65:62 with 4 minutes to go. 

A foul on Bogdanović saw him make both free throws for +4 Croatia with just under 3 minutes to go. 

Hezonja scored for 69:65 and a Tunisia timeout was called with a minute and a half to go. Croatia was only up by 2 with 38 seconds to go. Marčinković scored a 3-pointer to save the day for 72:67. Ukić then fouled for 3 Tunisia free throws - it was 72:79 with 18 seconds to go. 

With 6 seconds to go, Hezonja scored 1/2 free throws for 73:70. The game ended at 75:70 for Croatia. 

After the group stage, there is a day of rest, and on July 3, the semifinal matches are scheduled. Croatia will play Germany in the semis on Saturday. 

The final match is scheduled for July 4 at 7:30 pm. Only the winner of the tournament will qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. Croatia's group crosses over with Germany, Russia, and Mexico.

The Split tournament and the other three hosted by Belgrade, Kaunas, and Victoria in Canada are all scheduled from June 29 to July 4, 2021. 

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Sandra Perković and Josip Glasnović to Hold Croatian Flag at the Olympic Games

June 16, 2021 - 'Discus Queen' Sandra Perkovic and star sports shooter Josip Glasnović will share the Croatian flag at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer! 

The current Olympic winners, athlete Sandra Perković and sports shooter Josip Glasnović will hold the Croatian flag at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Tokyo on July 23, which was decided by the Council of the Croatian Olympic Committee (COC) at its 15th session, held in a regular manner in Zagreb under the chairmanship of COC leader Zlatko Mateša, reports HRT.

In Japan, Perković will defend the Olympic gold from Rio de Janeiro in the discus throw, and Glasnović in trap shooting. 

Five years ago in Rio de Janeiro, the Croatian flag was carried by water polo player Josip Pavić, and before him, it was handball player Venio Losert (2012 London), handball player Ivano Balić (2008 Beijing), water polo player Dubravko Šimenc (2004 Athens), table tennis player Zoran Primorac (2000 Sydney), water polo player Perica Bukić (1996. Atlanta) and tennis player Goran Ivanišević (1992).

In this way, the members of the Council welcomed the decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that, in accordance with the commitment to gender equality in sports, the flag bearers on such occasions should be one athlete each.

According to the report of the Office for the Olympic Program of the Croatian Olympic Committee, the Croatian Olympic delegation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics could have 120 members, and among them, in the most optimistic version (with the basketball team) there could be about 70 Olympians.

The number stopped at 47 athletes, though it could increase to 50 after the official confirmation of the achieved Olympic "visas" by judokas Barbara Matić and Karla Prodan and possibly Ivana Maranić according to the continental quota.

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Sunday, 6 June 2021

First Boxer for Croatia at 2020 Olympic Games: Luka Plantić is Going to Tokyo!

June 6, 2021 - Luka Plantić is the first Croatian boxer to qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo!  

Luka Plantić (24) won a spot in the quarterfinals of the Olympic qualifiers in the light heavyweight category (81 kg) against Irishman Emmat Brennan and became the first Croatian boxer to qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, reports T.portal

Plantić started the match aggressively against the powerful Brennan, and in the first minute, the referee counted on the Irish boxer. The Sesvete fighter kept his advantage until the end, and all five referees gave him their vote and unanimously declared him the winner.

At the beginning of the qualifications in London in 2020, Plantić defeated Austrian seed Umar Dzambekov, and on Friday, broke the Armenian Gora Nersesyan in the first round.

"We worked for this moment for a year and were preparing for the qualifiers. I came fully ready, made great progress, and knew that no one could stop me. The quarterfinals against the Irish boxer was like a World Cup final to me, a lot of pressure, and as I announced - I knew I was a bigger fighter than him and than anyone and that I would prove it. It wasn’t easy; he’s excellent, he didn’t give up all three rounds. I had the strength for a few more rounds, but after the first two, it was clear that I had a big advantage and that I could also save a little for the semi-finals. The fight with Whittaker will be much more relaxed, without pressure, now I will enjoy boxing, and we will celebrate the success upon our return to Croatia," said Luka.

Earlier, Croatian boxer Marko Milun (24) failed to qualify for the Olympic qualifiers quarterfinals in Paris in the super heavyweight category (+91 kg). In the round of 16, Milun lost by unanimous decision of the refs (5-0) to the favorite of the category, Briton Fraser Clarke. The more experienced Clarke managed to impose his style of fighting and used more weight. From such a static, dirty fight with a lot of pushing and wrestling, pulling and holding Milun, Clarke managed to place two strong shots in the first and second rounds, forcing the ref to count Milun twice. On his Facebook profile, the modest athlete from Dicmo, a member of Leonard from Zagreb, realistically assessed the long-awaited fight with the powerful Briton:

"Today marks the end of a major chapter in my life. Everything I did, I did precisely because of this opportunity that I unfortunately missed. As for the fight, I never got away with it, so that I won't do it this time either. We both did our best, and in the heat of the fight, I lost consciousness at the very beginning. I suspect a punctured eardrum, but whatever it is, I was not fully aware of the fight," said Milun.

He is left hoping that he can go to Tokyo through the World Boxing Federation ranking list because only four super heavyweights will qualify directly from Paris, i.e., only the semifinalists.

Nikolina Ćaćić, in the 57 kg category, will fight in the quarterfinals for Tokyo on Sunday, June 6, in the afternoon program.

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Saturday, 15 May 2021

Anamaria Govorčinović Becomes First Female Croatian Canoe-Sprinter to Qualify for Olympics!

May 15, 2021 - Anamaria Govorčinović has become the first female Croatian canoe-sprinter to qualify for the Olympic Games! 

At the canoe-sprint European Olympic qualifications on the calm waters of Szeged, Hungary, Croatian Anamaria Govorčinović achieved the Olympic norm by winning second place in the women's final of the 500-meter single kayak discipline (K-1). The Zagreb club Matija Ljubek member was second with a time of 1:56.70, while the fastest was Spaniard Isabel Contreras (1:56.15), reports HOO

"I still can't believe it. I'm overjoyed. No, I didn’t expect it because there were nine girls in the finals, and they were all quality in a row. I knew the Spaniard and the Portuguese sprinters were favorites, but the three of us somehow separated halfway through. In the end, the nuances, the seconds, decided. The Spaniard was first, me second. I am the first in Croatia to win a place at the Games in this discipline. I hope that Vanessa Tot, who has another chance in a week in Russia, will also succeed," said Anamaria for Vecernji List


"In Zagreb, I am a member of the club Matija Ljubek, and I have great conditions. Preparations, kayaking, and equipment are financed by the Croatian Olympic Committee and the Croatian Kayak Federation. I finished high school in Zagreb, and I am currently studying sports management at Aspira High School. I am in the same group with handball player Marko Mamić who plays in Leipzig," she pointed out.

Among other participating Croatian athletes in the continental qualifications, Vanesa Tot took 9th place in the finals, and kayaker Antun Novaković did not make it to the finals. Tot and Novaković have another chance to win a spot in Tokyo at the world qualifiers on May 20 and 21 in Barnaul, Russia.

As the first female Croatian canoe sprinter in history to secure an Olympic appearance, 24-year-old Govorčinović joins canoe slalom athlete Matija Marinić in Tokyo. 

There are currently 43 athletes on the Croatian Olympic Committee's list of candidates for the Tokyo Olympics! 

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

To get more news about sports in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Wrestler Ivan Huklek and Taekwondo Fighter Ivan Šapina Join Croatia Olympic Team!

May 12, 2021 - The Croatia Olympic team competing in Tokyo this summer currently has 42 members from 11 sports. The last two to join them are wrestler Ivan Huklek, whose story is particularly emotional, and taekwondo fighter from Split's Marjan Ivan Šapina.

HRT reports a welcome full of emotions was held for Ivan Huklek, who did the impossible by winning a spot among the elite company of the 16 best wrestlers of his category at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

"I did not expect such a large number of people, but it means a lot to me because it is the support of those who follow me throughout my career," said Croatian wrestler Ivan Huklek.

And this accomplishment has additional importance because it was won after his family experienced particularly challenging times. Ivan's younger sister passed away about 10 days ago.

"It's hard for me to describe how I felt about everything that was happening. I’m happy, aware that I’ve qualified, but it’s not the feeling I thought I’d have," he admits.

"He found that motivation where he knew his sister was watching him from above, and I can say that, in that category, in that competition, where the Olympic winner has no norm, Huklek qualified in this masterful way," said Anton Djok, Ivan Huklek's coach.

Huklek is Croatia's second wrestler that will compete in Tokyo; he will be accompanied by the experienced Božo Starčević, who was close to a medal in Rio.

Ivan Šapina, a taekwondo fighter who won in the last second of his qualifying fight, also realized his dream.

"I didn't think about anything anymore; I just jumped, went to the coach. Emotions flooded everything, the entire coaching staff. I tried a little to explain to myself and understand what I managed, what success I achieved. So, the feeling is still fantastic," he says.

While some have been disappointed, martial arts representatives are recording historical results.

"We've never had more representatives in taekwondo. We had three athletes at the last Olympic Games, and we will have four candidates this year," says Dejan Mesarov, Ivan Šapina's coach. 

All athletes will have to know how to fight in the unusual conditions at the Games caused by the ongoing pandemic.

"Among them, there are athletes who can reach the Olympic podium, and I believe that in the psychological sense, they will withstand the pressure of these abnormal Games," said Zlatko Mateša, president of the Croatian Olympic Committee.

You can watch the video on HRT HERE.

The Olympic Games will be held in Tokyo from July 23 to August 8. 

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Croatia Olympic Uniforms Presented 100 Days Before Tokyo Games (PHOTOS)

April 14, 2021 - The Croatia Olympic uniforms have been presented 100 days before the Games occur in Tokyo this summer! 

In anticipation of the Olympic Games in Tokyo (July 23 - August 8, 2021), the Croatian Olympic Committee (COC) marked a hundred days before their opening with a short ceremony in the area next to the Zagreb fountains.

The event was organized following current epidemiological measures. It was enhanced by Japan's ambassador to Croatia, HE E. Misako Kaji, Vice President of the Croatian Olympic Committee Sanda Čorak, the experienced rowing Olympian Damir Martin and two debutants - taekwondo fighter Kristina Tomić and swimmer Franko Grgić.

"We must be aware that it took extraordinary effort and perseverance of athletes and their coaches, clubs, and federations, all to ensure an Olympic appearance. We are looking forward to the Games in Tokyo, regardless of the unusual circumstances. The most important thing is that a whole generation of athletes will get a chance to realize their sports dream, and we are especially looking forward to the performance of our representatives," said the vice president of the Croatian Olympic Committee and president of the Croatian Judo Federation Sanda Čorak.

The light effects above the fountain sent a message of togetherness on the way to achieving Olympic continuity by holding safe Games this summer, and white lanterns were released as a symbol of good luck for the Tokyo Games.

"The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games start in 100 days. Despite everything, the organizers and hosts from the local community are working hard to prepare for the Games. They are held as a symbol of diversity and global unity, proof of overcoming the pandemic and rebuilding the country after earthquakes and tsunamis. Viewers around the world will participate in the Tokyo 2020 Games through IT technologies. Well done to the Croatian Olympians and Paralympians; let's head to the sun! The cities of Tokamachi and Marugame, as well as the whole of Japan, await you warmly," is the message of Ambassador Kaji.

The Olympic hero from Rio 2016, Damir Martin, returned to the rowing elite after an injury.

"I am a big supporter of holding the Olympic Games in Tokyo, even if they are the most unusual so far. If they did not take place, many athletes would go eight years without achieving their Olympic ambitions. That is why I am preparing for the Tokyo Games with great optimism, and I believe in their success. I also believe that I will be personally successful in my third Olympic appearance," said rower Damir Martin, who is also the Croatian Olympic Committee vice president.

In addition to participating in the event as ambassadors of the COC's "To the Sun" campaign, Olympic debutants Kristina Tomić and Franko Grgić, together with Damir Martin, promoted the 4F Olympic collection for the Tokyo Games. Praising the Olympic collection, they emphasized its airiness and elasticity.

The Croatian Olympians will perform in Tokyo in the dynamic equipment of the Polish company 4F, with recognizable red and white checkers of various sizes. Attention was also paid to Japanese symbolism, such as the motif of a circle (in this case - the rising sun) on zippers and size labels. Due to the Tokyo climate, fabrics of reduced weight were used, with a well-thought-out design and choice of colors for the female and male collection.

"When it comes to athletes' performances at the Olympic Games, we are aware of the importance and the smallest details. That’s why we’ve focused on lightweight materials with high breathability, which ensures great comfort when used. When designing and creating the collection, we did not forget to consider the issue of sustainability, hence the high percentage of recycled materials in the collection, mostly European production," explained the chief designer of the Olympic collection Wojciech Harus.

Marking "100 days to Tokyo", the Croatian Olympic Committee organized a photoshoot of Olympians at the Zagreb Fire Brigade as a link between firefighters' exceptional efforts during last year's earthquake in Zagreb and national sports heroes. On that occasion, more than 20 Olympians premiered the new Olympic collection for Tokyo, and all of them rated it as very high quality and comfortable to wear.

One hundred days before Tokyo, Croatia has 40 Olympic candidates (from 11 sports), 28 in individual sports, and 12 in team sports (water polo). A dozen more individual athletes are expected (cycling, boxing, judo, karate, archery, tennis) and possibly another team - basketball. The optimistic estimate is that around 65 athletes will wear the new Olympic collection 4F at the Tokyo Games - Together to the sun. 

Source: HOO

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Thursday, 8 April 2021

Croatia at Olympic Games: Only 40 Croatian Athletes Qualified for Tokyo So Far

April 8, 2021 - Only 40 Croatian athletes qualified for Tokyo so far. A look at Croatia at the Olympic Games this summer. reports that there are only three months left until the start of the Olympic Games in Japan. From July 23 to August 8, Tokyo will be the world’s sports center and host today’s best athletes in various sports.

Croatia participated in its first Games back in 1992 and participated in seven Olympic competitions, winning 33 medals total - 11 gold medals, 10 silver medals, and 12 bronze.

According to the number of qualified athletes, it is clear that Croatian sport is in crisis. To date, a total of only 40 Croatian athletes have qualified for Tokyo. 10-15 more are expected from individual sports (boxing, wrestling, karate, judo, tennis, cycling). The basketball team, which plays its qualifiers in June, faces a challenging task because they may play without their biggest stars - Bogdanović, Šarić, and Zubac.

In the best-case scenario, Croatia can see 65 athletes in Japan, which is the lowest number in the last 30 years. Croatia only had less in Barcelona in 1992 (41 athletes in 12 sports). Given the war period, this figure is not surprising. 

Croatia at the Olympic Games

Barcelona 1992 - 41 athletes - 12 sports (three medals)
Atlanta 1996 - 85 athletes - 14 sports (two medals)
Sydney 2000 - 91 athletes - 12 sports (two medals)
Athens 2004 - 81 athletes - 14 sports (five medals)
Beijing 2008 - 101 athletes - 15 sports (five medals)
London 2012 - 107 athletes - 18 sports (six medals)
Rio de Janeiro 2016 - 88 athletes - 18 sports (ten medals)

Tokyo 2021 - In the best case scenario, 65 athletes, and how many medals?
Croatian athletes will not be expected to break the record from Rio and the ten medals won that summer.

Favorites for medals?
The shortlist of favorites for medals at this year's Games includes Sandra Perković, Sinković brothers, Tin Srbić, Croatia water polo, Tonči Stipanović, Šime, and Mihovil Fantela, Josip Glasnović, Damir Martin, and Mektić-Pavić (tennis players are not yet on the list of qualified athletes).

Croatian athletes qualified for Tokyo:
ATHLETICS (Sandra Perković, Sara Kolak, Filip Mihaljević, Bojana Bjeljac, Matea Parlov Koštro)
GYMNASTICS (Tin Srbić, Ana Đerek)
WRESTLING (Božo Starčević)
SAILING (Tonči Stipanović, Šime and Mihovil Fantela, Elena Vorobeva)
KAYAK / CANOE (Matija Marinić)
SWIMMING (Franko Grgić, Marin Mogić)
TABLE TENNIS (Tomislav Pucar, Andrej Gacina, Frane Tomislav Kojic)
SHOOTING (Josip Glasnović, Snježana Pejčić, Petar Gorša, Miran Maričić)
TAEKWONDO (Kristina Tomic, Matea Jelic, Toni Kanaet)
WATER POLO - 12 athletes
ROWING (Damir Martin, Valent, and Martin Sinković)

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Sunday, 21 March 2021

Croatia's Best Wrestler Božo Starčević Secures Tokyo Olympic Spot!

March 21, 2021 - Croatian Greco-Roman wrestler (up to 77 kg) Božo Starčević advanced to the finals of the qualifying tournament for the Olympic Games and thus secured a spot in Tokyo!

HRT reports that the current best Croatian wrestler and the fourth-ever Croatian wrestler to compete in the Olympic Games (Rio 2016) will fight for gold in Budapest against Russian wrestler Alexander Chekhirkin, who defeated Bulgarian Aik Mnatsakanian in points in a controversial semifinal (7-6).

Starčević defeated the Czech wrestler Oldrich Varga in points in the semifinal (3-1). He was better than the Pole Mateusz Lukasz Wolny and led a difficult fight in the quarterfinals against the Azerbaijani wrestler Sanan Sulejmanov. It ended 1-1, but Starčević went further because he was the last to score a point.

Of the other four Croatian representatives, Marko Koščević reached the bronze medal in the category up to 130 kg, and in Sunday's repechage, Ivan Lizatović (up to 60 kg) and Danijel Janečić (up to 67 kg) will be able to make it to the medal match.

Lizatović was pulled into the repechage by German Etienne Kinsinger, who defeated him in the quarterfinals (8-2). Janečić lost in the quarterfinals to Georgian Ramaz Zoidze (8-0), who easily advanced to the finals, allowing the Croatian wrestler to continue. Lizatović will fight against the Estonian Helary Maegisalu, and Janečić will have to defeat the Ukrainian wrestler Artur Politajev.

Unfortunately, only the finalists of the tournament in Budapest win a spot at the Tokyo Olympics this summer, meaning neither Lizatović nor Janečić will advance to Tokyo.

Koščević was also supposed to be given a repechage round, but the Norwegian Oskar Marvik handed him the match without a fight.

Ivan Huklek lost the first match in the category up to 87 kg and was defeated by Armenian Artur Šahinjan on points (6-2).

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

Sunday, 14 March 2021

Olympic Handball Qualifiers: Croatia Tops Tunisia 30:27 in Last Match

March 14, 2021 - Croatia tops Tunisia in their final Olympic qualifying match in Montpellier, France on Sunday, though they will not participate in the Olympics this summer as Portugal ultimately beat France. 

Croatia and Tunisia met in Montpellier for the final game of the Olympic qualifiers on Sunday evening. 

After a thrilling match and an incredible victory against Portugal, Hrvoje Horvat's Croatia played against an opponent who had very little chance of qualifying for Tokyo. Recall, France beat Tunisia 40:29 and Portugal 34:27. While a victory was necessary for Croatia to go to Tokyo, they do not depend only on themselves. In order to qualify for the Olympic Games, Croatia must beat Tunisia, and then wait for the outcome of the match between France and Portugal. 

Croatia qualifies for Tokyo with France's victory against Portugal (then Portugal is eliminated). If Portugal wins, Croatia is out. 

Croatia v. Tunisia Recap

Horvat scored for 1:0 in the 3rd minute to open the scoring for Croatia, and Musa scored for 2:0 seconds later. 

By the 4th minute, Sego had 3 saves on three attacking plays. 

Horvat scored from 7 meters for 3:1 in the 5th minute. Horvat scored again for 4:1 in the 8th minute. 

Tunisia took the lead in the 12th minute for 4:5 and scored again for 4:6 in the 13th minute. 

Pavlovic scored for 5:6 in the 14th minute. Cindric equalized for 6:6 in the 15th.

Horvat scored for 7:7 in the 16th. Tunisia led by 2 goals in the 19th - 7:9. 

Horvat scored from 7 meters for 9:9 in the 21st minute.  

Pesic saved Tunisia's 7-meter throw to keep the score even. 

Mandic put Croatia back in the lead moments later for 10:9 in the 22nd. Maric scored for 11:9 two minutes later. 

Mandic made it +3 with five minutes to go in the first half. Tunisia equalized at 12:12 with a minute to go in the first half. Maric scored for 13:12 with 20 seconds to go, and again for 14:13 to end the first half.

Horvat scored his 6th goal of the match for 15:13 to open the second half. Mandic made it +3 for 16:13 one minute later and 17:13, Croatia's biggest lead of the match, in the 33rd. 

Horvat scored for 18:14 in the 35th and Mandic for 19:14 a minute later. 

Duvnjak scored for 20:14 in the 37th for +6! Cindric made it 21:15 in the 39th and Mandic for 22:15. 

Duvnjak scored for 23:17 in the 42nd minute and Mandic against for 24:17 with just over 15 minutes to go. 

Cupic made it 25:18 with 12 to go. It was 27:20 with 9 minutes to go. 

Pavlovic made it +4 with less than five minutes to go - 28:24, and Maric made it 29:25 with minutes left. 

It was 30:25 for Croatia in the final two minutes. 

The match ended at 30:27 for Croatia! 

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

Sunday, 21 February 2021

Tokyo Olympics: Croatia Draws Group B with Serbia, Montenegro

February 21, 2021 - Croatia draws Group B with Serbia, Montenegro, and more top national teams at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer.

After a thrilling end to the Olympic qualifying tournament in Rotterdam on Sunday, Croatia secured the final 12th spot for the Tokyo Olympics.

Recall, Croatia and Russia met in the 3rd-place match of the Olympic qualifying tournament on Sunday afternoon. A win was enough for Croatia to automatically secure a spot in Tokyo, as the top three national teams from the qualifiers advance to the Olympic Games. 

Croatia finished the tournament with six victories and two defeats. Croatia won their first match against Romania at 16:6, defeated the Netherlands 25:8, topped France 10:13lost to Russia 13:14, and beat Germany 22:8 in the final group stage match. 

Croatia thus finished the group stage with eight points, four wins, and a defeat against Russia, which finished first with nine points. 

In the quarterfinal match on Friday, Croatia was better than Georgia (15:6), but lost to Montenegro in the semifinal match on penalties on Saturday. In the match for 3rd place, Croatia topped Russia on penalties 25:24

After Montenegro and Greece met in the final of the qualifiers, the national teams were drawn into two groups, in which Croatia was placed in Group B with Serbia, Australia, Spain, Kazahstan, and Montenegro. 

Namely, Croatia is in the company of the World Championship finalist - Spain, the defending Olympic gold medalist and 2019 World League winner - Serbia, the bronze medalist from the last European Championship in Budapest - Montenegro, and Australia, led by Croatian coach Elvis Fatović, the silver medalist from the last FINA Cup and the strongest team outside Europe. The only weaker team in the group is the national team of Kazakhstan.

On the other hand, Group A includes South Africa, the United States, Hungary, Greece, Japan, and Italy. 

The top four teams from each group move onto the quarterfinal stage of the competition. 

The Olympic Games in Tokyo are scheduled from July 24 to August 8, 2021. 

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

Page 2 of 3