Meet Croatian Table Tennis Prodigy Hana Arapovic

Daniela Rogulj

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November 5, 2019 – She already conquered Asia, is at the top of Europe and is the great hope of Croatian table tennis. At only 15 years old,Hana Arapovic achieved another major career success and won the gold at the World Cadet Competition. 

“Nobody expected it, I didn’t think I could do it either, so it was a surprise and the motivation to move forward,” Hana Arapovic told RTL Danas.

Hana has brought seven victories and only one defeat to the European team – and has already made history. 

“Not Europe, North America or anyone, has defeated Asia. This time they beat them in the semifinal. So the alarm bells on them will probably ring. That’s a big disproportion. They’re like the Real Madrid, and we are a small club,” says Darko Arapovic, Hana’s father and coach.

“The most important thing is being committed to the sport and dedicating your life to it. Conditioning, explosiveness and some of these details are also important,” explains the young table tennis player.

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Hana is currently ranked fourth in Europe and ninth in the world of table tennis players under 15.

“This is a very serious girl dedicated to her training and loves table tennis, which is very important. The results are carrying her and she is achieving outstanding results internationally,” praised the director of the Croatian Table Tennis Association, Renato Cengic.

Like when this Croatian table tennis prodigy defeated an Asian player who is ranked the fourth table tennis player in the competition under 18.

Hana returned from Poland on Friday and was already back in the hall on Sunday morning.

“I’m already going to a new tournament in Hungary on Tuesday, so there is no rest,” Hana explains.

Namely, big things are on the horizon for Hana, and perhaps a move to Linz, Austria, is in the plans, where she would have even better working conditions.

“You have to look at what you need to train well. Unfortunately, this is harder in Zagreb and Croatia than in some places where there are other national teams,” says Darko Arapovic, who is Hana’s father, trainer, and coach, and also a former national champion in table tennis.

Hana admits having her dad as her mentor is not always easy.

“Of course it sometimes annoys me, but on the one hand, it’s easier because I can tell him more, and personal things that I can’t really tell the coach,” she said.

Three years ago, Hana was named one of the world’s three biggest table tennis talents. Today, she dreams of the Olympics and reveals that she wants to be Tamara Boros.

“Because she was second in the world, and from Croatia, that’s why,” Hana revealed.

There are many more games ahead to win, but if Hana continues like this, she can take on the table tennis world.

You can watch the full video on RTL Danas.

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


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