Sunday, 24 April 2022

European Water Polo Championship Draw Held at Peristil

April 24, 2022 - The group draw for the European Water Polo Championship was held in a spectacular way at Peristyle, inside Diocletian's Palace. The Croatia women's team will face Germany, Hungary, Greece, the Netherlands, and Romania, while the men will face Greece, Malta, and France in the main water polo tournament on the continent, which will be held in Split in August.

Peristyle and water polo. At first, it sounds like a weird date, but if you found yourself nearby last night, you definitely made sure it was a winning combination. Magical and spectacular. Epithets followed one after the other because, in the world of water polo, such an event has not been seen so far, reports Slobodna Dalmacija. This was the first touch of the seemingly incompatible.

History in the service of sports - so the organizers announced the draw of groups for the European Water Polo Championship, which is scheduled from August 27 to September 10 in Split. What they promised, they fulfilled. The special occasion took place at the historic square in front of the Cathedral of St. Duje, where a wedding ceremony ended just before the start of the event. The happy newlyweds further complemented the already glamorous atmosphere.

There were also curious tourists. Everyone wanted to see what was going on at the Peristyle... and then it started. Ana Rucner opened with a cello performance. The official mascot of the European Water Polo Championship in Split, the seagull Roko, was then presented.

The program was hosted by Mirta Šurjak and Marko Šapit, with a live television broadcast. The central part of the event, the draw itself, started with the draw of groups for the women's part of the tournament. Recall, both Russian national teams were eliminated from the tournament, so there were small changes in the strong groups.

The balls were drawn by two special guests. They were Josip Pavić, our celebrated water polo player, and today's envoy of Prime Minister Andrej Plenković. He was named the best player of the tournament 12 years ago when Croatia last hosted.

A touch of handball was brought in by Petar Metličić. Just as they should be, water polo and handball are the two most trophy-winning Croatian sports, they have delighted us countless times with their medals. Croatian water polo female players will play in a group with Germany, Hungary, Greece, the Netherlands, and Romania.


Photo: Miroslav Lelas/PIXSELL

The ladies had the advantage, followed by the group draw for the men's squads. The balls were drawn by the legendary Blanka Vlašić and no less famous water polo player Deni Lušić.

Croatia will play in Group B with Greece, Malta, and France. It could have been easier, but also harder. Slobodna Dalmacija asked the coach Ivica Tucak for a comment.

''For me, this is the most difficult group. The Greeks are Olympic runners-up, and France is certainly the strongest team from the second pot. They have recently beaten Spain, and are growing and investing heavily as they are hosting the next Olympics. Of course, the group is only the first step. It remains to be seen which group we are crossing with''.

The goals of Croatian water polo players are always the highest.

''The wish is to go as far as possible, if possible to gold. I expect it will be a pleasure to play at the Spaladium Arena. I want it to be the wind in our backs to show our best version. Summer is crowded. We must first think about the World Cup, and then we will focus on the Euro'', said Tucak.

The anthem of the European Water Polo Championship called "Until the Last Breath" was also presented, and it was performed by Lidija Bačić, Goran Karan, and the klapa Sebenico.

The groups were formed as follows:


Group A:

1. Germany

2. Croatia

3. Hungary

4. Greece

5. The Netherlands

6. Romania

Group B:

1. Serbia

2. France

3. Slovakia

4. Italy

5. Israel

6. Spain


Group A:

1. Italy

2. Georgia

3. Slovakia

4. Montenegro

Group B:

1. Greece

2. Malta

3. France

4. Croatia

Group C:

1. Romania

2. Germany

3. Spain

4. The Netherlands

Group D:

1. Serbia

2. Hungary

3. Israel

4. Slovenia

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

Saturday, 23 April 2022

Peristil is Ready for Tonight's European Water Polo Championship Draw

April 23, 2022 - The most important European water polo tournament will be held in Split from August 27 to September 10, and the group draw for the European Water Polo Championship will be held at the symbolic Peristil tonight in a special setting.

Summer is approaching and Split is busy preparing for the European Water Polo Championships, which will take place from August 27 to September 10. It is a big event for the town at the foot of Marjan, the biggest in the last few years, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

In addition to the tournament, the city is also preparing for the spectacle of drawing the groups. If there is a reason to use the term ''spectacle', it is precisely because there is a lot of expectation for this event, since it will be held in nothing more and nothing less than the imposing Peristil, inside Diocletian's Palace. Especially for this occasion, the organizers made an effort to turn one of the symbols of the city into a real water polo stage.


This is how the Peristil will look for tonight's group draw for the European Water Polo Championship. (Image: Slobodna Dalmacija)

As the organizers pointed out, this symbol of history will be, this time, in the service of sports. The stage will be located at the foot of the main Protiron and the arch under which the emperor appeared in the past. Under the stone columns, there will be an auditorium for about 200 guests, and among them numerous dignitaries from sports and social life.

This new and special image of the Peristil will serve as a great advertisement for Croatia. Tourism, which has long been a cornerstone in our country, will get another boost. During the championship, as many as 28 national teams (12 women's and 16 men's) will be in Split with more than 600 athletes and support staff, along with 100 judges and representatives of the Ligue Européenne de Natation (LEN). More than 300 journalists and 600 people are expected to take part in the organization as well.

These are numbers that speak for themselves. A massive spectacle is being prepared in Split, and its first act is scheduled for tonight at 8 pm when the Water Polo Euro group draw begins on the "new" Peristil. A dynamic entertainment program has also been announced, with numerous audiovisual effects that will give a new glow to the centuries-old stone square.

Drawing groups is a great overture to everything that awaits us in the competition itself. The tournament will be accompanied by a series of entertainment events, concerts, museum exhibitions, congresses ... Guests, both domestic and foreign, will be able to enjoy the varied offer, and all together will once again see what kind of host Split always is.

The whole story about holding the European Water Polo Championship in Split started in 2018. Two pools will be temporarily set up inside the Spaladium Arena, the main one for competitions and the auxiliary one for warming up.

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

Thursday, 23 January 2020

Big Day for Croatian Sport: Back-to-Back Euro Semifinals for Water Polo and Handball

January 23, 2020 - Friday is a great day for Croatian sport, as Croatia’s water polo and handball teams will play in the semifinals of the European Championships.

Namely, the Croatia water polo team will play the semifinal of the European Championship against Spain at 5:30 pm in Budapest, and half an hour later, the handball team will play against Norway in the semifinal of the European Championship in Stockholm. 

Originally, Croatia water polo was supposed to play at 7 pm, while handball was to play from 8:30 pm, but due to the demands of the hosts of both tournaments, it turned out that both matches will be played earlier.

For both teams, this will be the ninth semifinal in 14 appearances at the European Championship, while the Croatia water polo team has been more successful thus far.

The "Barracudas" made it to the final three times and won the European throne in 2010 in Croatia, while the "Cowboys" advanced from the semi-finals twice, but lost in the finals both times, in 2008 and 2010. In the first final in 2008, Croatia lost to Denmark (20-24), and two years later, Croatia lost to France (21-25).

The Croatia water polo team has won a total of 14 medals at the Olympics, World and European Championships, with gold medals in all three major competitions. Recall, they won the Olympic gold in 2012 in London, have two gold medals from the World Championships in 2017 (Budapest) and 2007 (Melbourne), and one gold medal from the European Championship 10 years ago.

The Croatia handball team has 13 Olympic, World, and European Championship medals, with two Olympic (2004, 1996) and world gold medals (2003), and two silver and three bronze medals at the Euros. 

Croatia water polo results in Euro semifinals:

1995 (Vienna): Croatia - Hungary 8-11 (4th place)

1997 (Seville): Croatia - Yugoslavia 7-8 (4th place)

1999 (Florence): Croatia - Greece 10-7 (2nd place)

2001 (Budapest): Croatia - Yugoslavia 6-8 (4th place)

2003 (Kranj): Croatia - Hungary 10-9 (2nd place)

2008 (Malaga): Croatia - Montenegro 7-9 (4th place)

2010 (Zagreb): Croatia - Serbia 10-9 (1st place)

2018 (Barcelona): Croatia - Serbia 7-9 (3rd place)

2020 (Budapest): Croatia - Spain (?)

Croatia handball results in Euro semifinals:

1994 (Porto): Croatia - Sweden 21-24 (3rd place)

2004 (Ljubljana): Croatia - 25-27 (4th place)

2006 (Zurich): Croatia - France 23-29 (4th place)

2008 (Lillehammer): Croatia - France 24-23 (2nd place)

2010 (Vienna): Croatia - Poland 24-21 (2nd place)

2012 (Belgrade): Croatia - Serbia 22-26 (3rd place)

2014 (Copenhagen): Croatia - Denmark 27-29 (4th place)

2016 (Krakow): Croatia - Spain 29-33 (3rd place)

2020 (Stockholm): Croatia - Norway (?)

Source: HRT

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

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Croatia Men's and Women's Water Polo Teams Complete Ahead of Euros

January 7, 2020 - The Croatia men's and women’s water polo coaches have released the final lists of players for the upcoming European Championship.

Croatia's men's and women's water polo teams will participate in the European Championship in Budapest from January 12 to 26, 2020. Men’s coach Ivica Tucak and women’s coach Marijo Caleta announced the final list of players for this competition on Tuesday.

Ivica Tucak has selected the following players for the 34th LEN European Water Polo Championship: Marko Bijac, Ivan Marcelic, Andro Buslje, Marko Macan, Hrvoje Benic, Maro Jokovic, Javier Garcia, Lovre Milos, Ante Vukicevic, Loren Fatovic, Luka Bukic, Luka Loncar and Josip Vrlic.

Compared to last year's World Cup in South Korea, where Croatia won the bronze, only Luka Bukic is a new face in the national team, while there is no Andelo Setka.

In addition to the coach, Mile Smodlaka (assistant), Sandro Sukno (assistant), Pero Kuterovac (fitness coach), Igor Pezelj (goalkeeping coach) and Damir Luketic (physical therapist) are also part the staff.

Women’s coach Marijo Caleta selected the following national team players for the European Championship: Dina Lordan, Petra Bukic, Emmi Miljkovic, Matea Skelin, Domina Butic, Ivana Butic, Ema Carevic, Ana Miroslavic, Mia Topic, Julija Bozan, Bruna Barisic, Alexandra Ratkovic and Natasha Trojan.

Along with Caleta, the staff also includes Alen Brakus, Mia Simunic, Kristjan Hrbic, Dunja Bracun and Kristina Delas.

The Croatia men’s team will play in Group A with Montenegro, Germany and Slovakia, and the tournament will open on January 14 (2:30 pm) against Germany. The top team in each group will go directly to the quarterfinals, and the second and third teams will make it to the round of 16.

This European Championship carries even more weight, as only the winning team will qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. The European teams that have already qualified to compete in Tokyo are Serbia, Italy and Spain, so advancing to the semifinals may be enough to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in the end. 

The Croatia women’s team is also in Group A with Greece, Hungary, Russia, Serbia and Slovakia. Coach Marijo Caleta will lead the team through their first game on January 12 (7:30 pm) against Hungary. The four best teams from the group will win a place in the quarterfinals.

Two years ago, Croatia finished 11th among the 12 national teams at the Euros in Barcelona. The best national team from this Championship will qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, apart from Spain, as they have already qualified. 

Source: HVS

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

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Croatia Water Polo Team Defeats Montenegro in Dramatic Finish for Euro Semis!

In a dramatic fight, the Croatia men’s water polo team defeated Montenegro to play in the European Championship semifinal match against Serbia

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Croatia Water Polo Team Advance to Quarterfinal of Euros in Barcelona!

The current world champions have played excellent water polo in the first round of the tournament. 

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Croatia Water Polo Team Off to Stellar Start at Euros in Barcelona

The World Cup may be over, but Croatia's water polo team is playing in the European Championships in Barcelona!