December 20, 2019 – Athlete Sandra Perkovic and gymnast Tin Srbic were named the best Croatian athletes by the Croatian Olympic Committee (HOO), while rowers Martin and Valent Sinkovic were named best crew, couple or relay for the seventh consecutive time.
HRT writes that Perkovic won the title of the best Croatian female athlete for a record eighth time in a row, while the world and European champion Srbic was named for the second time by the Croatian Olympic Committee.
“It hasn’t been going well for me lately, but the Tokyo Olympics are coming. We had a miracle in Rio, with ten medals, and I think in Tokyo, Croatian athletes can win more. I started with preparations stronger than in the previous years, and after London and Rio, there are secret desires that I want to fulfill in Tokyo. I just need to stay healthy,” said Perkovic, who won bronze in the discus throw at the Doha World Championships this year.
Gymnast Tin Srbic became the best Croatian athlete for the second time and announced that he is competing for the medal in Tokyo next year. Srbic was the finalist at the World Championships on the horizontal bar in Germany’s Stuttgart, and earlier this year, Tin also won the silver medal at the European Championships in Szczecin.
“Two years ago, I was the world champion, and for the first time, the laureate of the HOO. Everything happened so suddenly. Now, I’m more aware of my great results. I dream of Tokyo and I can’t wait for it,” said Srbic briefly.
The brothers Valent and Martin Sinkovic dominated the coxless pairs in 2019, becoming European champions in Lucerne in June, and world champions three months later in Linz. They also took home the International Rowing Federation’s title of Best Male Crew in 2019.
“We are training, there are no injuries and we are ready for Tokyo – and we feel ready for the Paris Olympics in five years. Coach Bralic also recently got a new hip for us, so he will be ready for Paris as well. The transition to a new discipline has proven to be excellent and we plan to take the gold in Tokyo,” Martin Sinkovic said.
The success of the Sinkovic brothers was complemented by their coach Nikola Bralic, who won the title of the best Croatian coach for the fourth time.
“We will strive to maintain the level we’ve had so far in the next year. So that we remain the best,” Bralic commented briefly.
The most successful team in 2019 goes to Croatia water polo, as they won the bronze at the World Championships in South Korea’s Gwangju, while the best women’s team is the Croatian bowling team, which won the World Championships in the Czech Republic.
The award for the best Croatian sports promoter in the world went to Luka Modric. His father Stipe received the award on Luka’s behalf.
HOO’s traditional Matija Ljubek Lifetime Achievement Awards went to Vinko Dobric, Tennis Club Osijek, the Croatian Rowing Federation, Lokomotiva Zagreb Handball Club and DOŠK Basketball Club from Drnis.
The HOO’s special award for fair play went to Valentina Pereglin, a member of the Croatian crossbow team, while special recognition for promoting sports went to Sports Television (SPTV).
Until December 10 this year, Croatian athletes competed in 138 world championships, 185 European championships, 111 world and 59 European cups. A total of 384 medals were won at the international competitions, of which 119 are gold, 101 are silver, and 164 are bronze.
“This year was extremely successful, which will be followed by an exciting sports year in 2020, the Olympic year with the Games in Tokyo, the year of the European Handball, Water Polo and Football Championships, and the Davis Cup. Next year, there will be as many as 1060 performances by Croatian athletes internationally, which is a really big number. Croatia is a superpower in sport; to this day, we have 125 athletes in the Olympic program, and we will surely go to Tokyo with many of our athletes for new successes,” said HOO President Zlatko Matesa.
The ceremony at the Westin Hotel in Zagreb was attended by many prominent sports and social figures in Croatia, as well as the Japanese Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia.
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