Wednesday, 22 December 2021

Matea Jelić and Tonči Stipanović Named Croatia's Best Athletes in 2021

December 22, 2021 - Olympic taekwondo gold medalist Matea Jelić and Olympic sailing silver medalist Tonči Stipanović were named Croatia's best athletes in 2021 by the Croatian Olympic Committee,

The awards were presented at the Great Day of Croatian Sports celebration in the Crystal Hall of The Westin in Zagreb.

In addition to the Olympic gold in Tokyo, Jelić also won the European champion title. In addition to winning the Olympic silver again in the Laser class, Stipanović also won the bronze at the World Championships in Barcelona. Interestingly, both were named Athletes of the Year in 2020 when Jelić shared the award with judoka Karla Prodan.

Jelić won the award in the competition of nine athletes, while Stipanovic was up against 11 competitors.

"It is a great honor for me to receive this award; I am aware of the great name of the athletes who stood here before me. I hope that in the years to come, I will prove that I am worth even more," said the young Matea Jelić from Knin.


Slobodan Kadic

"Last year, I was also named the best athlete, but everything was online. So I just now saw how beautiful all this is. I hope to win this award for a few more years," Matea added with a smile.

Stipanović pointed out that he was proud of winning the award against strong competition.

"I am proud of this award. I know that it was not easy for the COC, despite all these great results, in such a successful year for Croatian sports," Stipanović emphasized.

"I hope that during the next Olympic cycle, I will have another opportunity to address you from here," he added.

According to the Croatian Olympic Committee criteria, rowing brothers Martin and Valent Sinković, Olympic winners and European champions in the coxless pairs and overall World Cup winners, defeated the best tennis pair in the world, Olympic and Wimbledon winners Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić, in the selection for the best pair, relay or crew.


Slobodan Kadic

Brothers Martin and Valent Sinković were among the award winners for the 11th time in the last 12 elections. From 2010 to 2013, they won the award three times as part of the trophy foursome and eight times as doubles (three times in doubles and five times in coxless pairs). In addition, Pavić and Mektić were awarded the prize for "the greatest sports promoters in the world."

"I want to thank coach Bralić because, without him, we would not be able to win all these years," said Martin, adding: "It was something special, another Olympic gold, but we are still hungry for the future."

His brother Valent wanted to thank those he had never thanked before:

"The mission of the Croatian Olympic Committee, the people who are with us at the Olympics. They make sure we don’t miss anything, and sometimes it’s not easy with us athletes. Especially in this pandemic year."

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

Thursday, 18 November 2021

Split to Host First Melges 24 Class Croatian Sailing Championship

November 18, 2021 - Split will host the first Melges 24 class Croatian Sailing Championship this weekend, with 16 star-studded Olympian sailing crews. 

From Friday to Sunday, the first Croatian Championship in the Melges 24 class will be held in Split, with 16 crews. JK Mornar organizes the regatta and is excited to announce that the best Croatian sailors of all generations will compete in front of Split. Thus, for the first time, spectators will have the opportunity to see the showdown of Croatian Olympic medalists Tonči Stipanović and Šime Fantela, and several other great sailors, including Melges 24 class Olympians Tomislav Bašić, Karlo Kuret, Ivan Kljaković Gašpić, Luka Radelić, and Toni Bulaja, reports Dalmacija Danas.

The regatta lasts for three days, and the first races are scheduled for Friday. If the weather conditions allow, the regatta course will be placed just below Sustipan so that the competition can be followed until the end. The regatta is led by Olympian Marko Mišura and the primary judge will be the experienced Alen Kustić.

The flourishing Melges 24 class in Croatia is one of the most beautiful stories of Croatian sailing. Namely, Croatia's best sailors have always looked for a way to compete on an equal footing, but in the past 30 years in Croatia, a class of identical ships has never been successfully formed that would make this possible. However, things started to change a year ago when at the initiative of sailor Filip Jurišić, and several of Croatia's top sailors decided to buy the world's most popular one-design Melges 24 sailboat. As a result, at the end of last year, the Croatian Melges fleet counted seven ships. As things kicked off, many of Croatia's prominent sailors, from Dubrovnik to Istria, decided to use these faster and smaller sailboats, so the Croatian fleet today has 15 ships, with a tendency to grow further. 


One of the unique features of the Melges 24 class is that it brings together celebrated sailors and successful business people for whom sailing is a passion. Luka Šangulin, Miroslav Reljanović, and Matija Longin, among others, regularly take part in the Croatian Melges 24 regattas. All of them will also be sailing at the first Melges 24 Croatian Championship this weekend in Split.

There are 16 crews on the starting list, 15 of which are under the Croatian flag. The international touch to the regatta is brought by the Italian crew, led by Michele Paoletti, a sailor from Trieste who competed at the 2000 Olympic Games in the Soling class. Miroslav Reljanović's crew will include another international star - Norwegian Peer Moberg, who also sailed at the Sydney Olympics in the Laser class.

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Wednesday, 10 November 2021

Tonči Stipanović Wins World Sailing Bronze in Barcelona!

November 10, 2021 - Croatian sailor Tonči Stipanović won the bronze medal at the ILCA 7 World Championships (formerly Laser), which ended in Barcelona on Wednesday with a lot of difficulties.

Wednesday was meant to be the deciding day with three final races, but three of the total six competition days were unable to go ahead due to unfavorable weather conditions in Barcelona! After towering waves in the morning prevented the fleet from entering the regatta, the rain then began which forced the regatta committee to declare that no one would sail today.

In such conditions, 35-year-old Tonči Stipanović kept the bronze medal, which is the third world medal for the 2x Olympic silver medalist and member of the Split sailing club Mornar. In 2010 he won the silver, and last year he took bronze in Australia.

This is his tenth big medal in Laser in total, and the world bronze came in the same year as the Olympic silver from Tokyo, so Tonči can be proud of his achievements in 2021.

Stipanović's club colleague and current European runner-up Filip Jurišić took 21st place with 126 negative points, and the third Croatian representative Bruno Gaspić finished 48th with 194 negative points.

New Zealander Thomas Saunders is the new world champion, and the silver went to Irishman Finn Lynch.

Source: HRT

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Saturday, 14 August 2021

Four Croatian Olympic Medallists From Dalmatia Get Cash Rewards

ZAGREB, 14 Aug, 2021 - The local authorities in Split-Dalmatia County have recently decided to reward the four Olympic medalists, who hail from this Croatian region, and the two of them who were Olympic champions in their events in Tokyo received the highest reward, 25,000 kuna at a ceremony in Split on 9 August.

Those were Matea Jelić, who grabbed the Olympic gold medal in the women's taekwondo 67kg final, and Mate Pavić, who was a member of the Croatian pair that won Olympic men's doubles tennis title.

A reward of 20,000 kuna was given to sailor Tonči Stipanović, who bagged silver in the men's one-person dinghy laser event at the Tokyo Games, while a reward of 15,000 kuna was for the Olympic bronze medallist Toni Kanaet in the taekwondo 80kg men event.

During the 23 July-8 August Olympic Games in Tokyo, Croatia won eight medals: three golds, three silvers and two bronzes.

The latest Croatian Olympic champions are thus taekwondoist Jelić, rowers Valent and Martin Sinković in the men's pair, and the Croatian tennis players -- Pavić and Nikola Mektić -- who won Olympic men's doubles tennis title.

The three silvers were grabbed in the above-mentioned sailing event as well as in the men's doubles tennis event (Marin Čilić and Ivan Dodig) and in the men's horizontal bar (Tin Srbić).

Apart from Kanaet, the other bronze medallist was a rower, Damir Martin, who won bronze in the men's single sculls.

Croatia placed 26th out of 93 states in the rankings of medal winners at the 32nd Olympics in Japan while the most successful were U.S. athletes with 39 gold medals, 41 silvers and 33 bronzes won.

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Sunday, 1 August 2021

Tonči Stipanović Wins Olympic Silver Sailing Medal!

August 1, 2021 - After winning the silver medal in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, Croatian sailor Tonči Stipanović won his second Olympic silver medal today in Tokyo!

The ten best sailors competed for medals, and among them was the Croatian silver medalist from Rio de Janeiro, who came in third with 74 negative points, only three more than the second-placed Norwegian Hermann Tomasgaard. In the end, he climbed a step higher and won another Olympic silver!

Gold was secured by Australian Matt Wearn before the medal race.

The Mornar Split member had a great start and was holding silver until the first turn, but then after turning the buoy in sailing down the wind, he fell to fourth place. But in the third section with the wind, he came among the leaders again. In a fantastic finish, Tonči entered the finish line fourth, winning silver with a total of 82 negative points.

"It was very difficult, somehow I lost constantly during the regatta after a very good start. I was not satisfied with the speed and I sailed the first stern very badly, i.e., down the wind on the right side I was completely windless and the Norwegian passed there. Luckily Pavlos was still behind, but finding the penultimate or pen-penultimate one is not very good. At that moment, I couldn't even count what happened to the others or if someone was behind me or maybe passing me so I stayed focused on my sailing and after I came to the second buoy I said to myself ‘now I’m going left to the stern, stay calm, sail as I know and it will surely be good," said Stipanović or HRT.

Australian Wearn took the gold with 53 negative points and bronze Norwegian Thomasgaard collected 85 negative points.

"Paris 2024? It’s going to be really hard, I’m getting older and older. I’ll sit down and think about what to do next, I’m not sure yet, maybe I’ll decide to get ready for Paris as well. We'll see," the two-time Olympic runner-up concluded.

Source; HRT

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Friday, 30 July 2021

Tonči Stipanović Among Top 10 Sailors in Olympic Medal Race on Sunday!

July 30, 2021 - Tonči Stipanović will enter the race for an Olympic medal in the Laser class from 3rd place! On Sunday at 7:33 am Croatia time, he will have the opportunity to win his second medal at the Olympic Games after winning silver in Rio de Janeiro.

The top ten sailors in the class will sail in the medal race, reports Sportske Novosti.

The Mornar Split sailor has 74 negative points, three more than the second-placed Norwegian Hermann Tomasgaard and two less than the Cypriot Pavlos Contides, otherwise a club colleague. The gold has already been secured by Australian Matt Wearn, he is the successor of compatriot Tom Burton. Tomasgaard, Stipanović, and Kontides will try to secure two spots on the podium in a regatta in which the points are doubled (2, 4, 6, 8...). Every other sailor is quite far away - German Philipp Bühl in 5th place has 85 negative points.

The last two regattas that sailed on Friday proved to be very interesting. Stipanović recorded results of 7 and 10. Through the second regatta, he climbed from 21st place in the first turn, but the key thing was the big drop of Kontides (24), as well as Tomasgaard (19) in the first voyage. In the same way, the legendary Brazilian Robert Scheidt (24, 16) dropped out of the medal competition, falling to 6th place.

Sunday will be another great day for Croatian sport, as the 35-year-old from Split will have the opportunity to climb the Olympic podium for the second time!

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Sunday, 16 February 2020

Tonci Stipanovic Wins Bronze Medal at Laser World Championships in Melbourne

February 16, 2020 - After five days of sailing, Croatian sailor and JK Mornar member Tonci Stipanovic won the bronze medal at the Laser World Championships in Melbourne, Australia.

Dalmatinski Portal writes that Stipanovic gave his best on the last day, which resulted in third place and the bronze medal. Tonci finished the first regatta in fourth place to achieve a much lower result, but in the last sail, he turned everything around to reach the much-desired place on the podium.

“It was a very difficult day today and the wind was blowing from the shore, which changed direction quite a bit. The first regatta saw great sailing, but the second was not good because I did not appreciate the movement of the clouds, which had a significant effect on the wind. I entered the last regatta with nine points behind the Frenchman Bernaz who held that bronze medal, but I did not lose hope, I fought to the finish line and I think that's why I was awarded a medal. I am very happy that this Olympic year has begun and I look forward to the challenges ahead,” said Tonci Stipanovic.

His younger colleague Filip Jurisic finished in tenth place, which is an outstanding result and an indication that Filip will see medals in the future.

“In the end, I have to be satisfied with how I sailed this championship; it was a good fight, but it was also the goal, to go to the maximum. The week was extremely demanding, very windy, and although it could have been better, I am satisfied with the tenth place and now I have a whole season ahead of me. I wish Tonci good luck at the Olympic Games, he has my full support,” said Filip Jurisic.

The world's best laser and gold medalist is German Philipp Buhl, and second is Matthew Wearn of Austria. A total of 42 sailors sailed in the Golden Group, and securing the third and tenth place for JK Mornar from Split is proof that a bright future awaits.

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Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Tonci Stipanovic and Filip Jurisic Representing JK Mornar at Laser Sailing World Cup

February 11, 2020 - The Laser Sailing World Cup begins in Melbourne and runs through February 16. Two Croatian representatives, Tonci Stipanovic and Filip Jurisic, are representing JK Mornar in the race. reports that Tonci Stipanovic of Split and Filip Jurisic of Hvar are representing JK Mornar at the Laser Sailing World Cup in Melbourne, which is also an opportunity for one of them to secure a spot at the Tokyo Olympics.

"We have had excellent conditions so far and I am pleased with how we are progressing. Since we arrived in Melbourne, everything has gone to plan; there has been wind, so the training has been done under ideal conditions and we cannot wait to start the regatta. As for the fight for a spot at the Tokyo Olympics, everything is currently focused on the upcoming regatta, and after that, we will see how things are going,” said Tonci Stipanovic.

Hvar's Filip Jurisic is one of the young and promising JK Mornar lasers, and this is an ideal opportunity to show his strengths amongst fierce competition.

"I am very motivated, the preparations in Split and Malta have been great and I think we have made the most of the conditions. The weather in Melbourne is quite variable and temperatures fluctuate, but there is wind, and according to forecasts, there will be wind on the first days of the regatta,” said Filip Jurisic. reported that Stipanovic is already off to a great start, and described his success as ‘one small step’. 

Stipanovic noted that the conditions continue to impress.

“In the second race, I managed to pass two boats on the downwind, then picked up another place when Irishman Finn Lynch overstood the top mark."

The Laser World Championship lasts for six days, with 130 sailors from around the world participating. The first three days are qualifying, followed by three final days, after which we will uncover the best lasers in the world.

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Thursday, 31 August 2017

Laser World Championship in Split: Stipanović Heading for Gold, Jurišić Hoping for Medal

Split will host one of the most prestigious championships in the world of sailing - 2017 Laser World Championship, from 12th - 30th September 2017.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Tonči Stipanović Wins The Olympic Silver Medal!

Tonči Stipanović got a penalty before the start of the medal race, and lost the first place he held for the whole competition

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