The Croatia water polo team coach, Ivica Tucak, has announced a list of 13 players he is counting on at the Olympic Games in Tokyo (July 23 – August 8). Croatia will open its Olympic appearance in Group B on July 25 against Kazakhstan, followed by Serbia, Spain, Australia, and Montenegro.
In relation to the 19 players that the coach has had so far in the preparations, goalkeeper Toni Popadić, center Luka Lozina, defenders Hrvoje Benić, Andrija Bašić, and Rino Burić, and forward Franko Lazić have dropped out.
“The decision fell on a slightly faster team. My vision is that with a player more in the outside line, we gain speed, and we will compensate the position of a defender with some players, if necessary with the center because we now have Obradović who can play at 2 meters. So, we have somewhat wider possibilities,” said coach Tucak after the announcement.
“The decision is not easy, these are never simple. I thanked all the players because they all gave their maximum in these preparations. I especially thanked Burić and Popadić who were at the Olympic qualifiers in Rotterdam. Especially Popadić because if it weren’t for his defense against Russia on penalties, we wouldn’t be on our way to Tokyo today. This is what is safe for me, even after consultation with associates, the best that Croatia can offer in Tokyo,” concluded coach Tucak.
Before Tokyo, the national team will still play in the tournament in Cagliari – Sardinia Cup. Croatia will play its first game on Friday at 20:30 against Russia, while on Saturday at 19:00, they will play against the hosts Italy.
After the end of the tournament, on Sunday, the national team members will go home and gather again in Zagreb on July 15, when they will continue their preparations until they leave for Tokyo.
1. Marko Bijač (Olympiacos)
2. Ivan Marcelić (Mladost)
3. Luka Lončar (Pro Recco)
4. Josip Vrlić (without a club)
5. Andro Bušlje, kapetan (Olympiacos)
6. Marko Macan (Waspo 98 Hannover)
7. Paulo Obradović (Jug Adriatic osiguranje)
8. Lovre Miloš (without a club)
9. Maro Joković, zamjenik kapetana (without a club)
10. Xavi Garcia (Jug Adriatic osiguranja)
11. Ante Vukičević (Marseille)
12. Luka Bukić (Jadran Split)
13. Loren Fatović (Jug Adriatic osiguranje)
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