Tokyo 2020: Croatia Paralympic Athletes Competing in Record Number of Sports

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:

Igor Kralj / PIXSELL
Igor Kralj / PIXSELL

The Croatian Paralympic Committee has concluded the list of athletes for the 16th Summer Paralympic Games in Tokyo, held from August 24 to September 5, 2021, says HPO.

Croatia’s colors will be defended by 22 para-athletes in as many as a record eight sports, of which we are competing in para-taekwondo, para-bocce, and para-triathlon for the first time.

Mikela Ristoski, Ivan Katanušić, Miljenko Vučić, Zoran Talić, Deni Černi, Velimir Šandor, Marijan Presečan, Matija Sloup, Ana Gradečak and Vladimir Gašpar compete in para-athletics.

Dino Sinovčić, Kristijan Vincetić, Tomi Brajša, and the youngest member of the national team, 17-year-old Paula Novina, will compete in para-swimming. Anđela Mužinić and Helena Dretar Karić and Pavao Jozić will compete in table tennis.

Damir Bošnjak represents Croatian para-shooting for the fourth time.

Lucija Brešković will compete in para-judo for the second time.

Ivan Mikulić will compete in para-taekwondo, Davor Komar in para-bocce, and Antonio Franko in the para-triathlon. 

The Croatian flag will be carried at the Games’ opening ceremony by Mikela Ristoski from Pula, the winner of the long jump gold in Rio de Janeiro and the bronze in London. The Opening Ceremony is on August 24 at 8 pm local time. 

The final preparations for the 16th Paralympic Games are underway.

HPO President Ratko Kovačić said: “Since independence, Croatian para-athletes have competed in seven summer Paralympic Games, winning 20 medals. Our sports heroes regularly achieve top sports results,” Kovačić said, adding that “It was they who showed with their sporting achievements and results what it means to give their best. I sincerely thank them all for that! I am very proud of our athletes because, for the first time, we will perform in as many as eight sports, of which in as many as three for the first time. Before these somewhat strange games, our athletes showed that there are no limits for them.

All this was achieved in pandemic conditions when many of the athletes did not have the continuity of preparations even though international competitions have almost died out in the past year, then any further comment is unnecessary. In Tokyo, even with stringent epidemiological measures, I expect that we will continue the successful series of winning medals. In the end, I can only wish to reach the result from Rio de Janeiro when we won five medals,” said President Ratko Kovačić.

Para-table tennis players Anđela Mužinić and Helena Dretar Karić will be the first to enter the arenas in the individual competition on August 25 at 9:00 local time in the Tokyo Metropolitan gymnasium.

The ceremonial farewell of the first part of the national team will be held on August 20 at the Hotel “Antunović,” and the Paralympians will fly to Tokyo from the “Franjo Tuđman” International Airport on August 21.

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