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

Daniela Rogulj

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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! 

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