The International Judo Federation (IJF) sent an invitation letter to participate in the Olympic tournament to the Croatia national team member Ivana Maranić in the over 78 kg category, reports HRT.
Maranić, a member of JK Panda from Zagreb, was seventh below the line for participation in Tokyo on the first list of the IJF. Still, due to injuries and the cancellation of better-ranked competitors, she received an invitation for her premiere performance at the Olympics at the age of 29. Thus, for the first time in history, Croatia judo will have three representatives at the Olympics, before the right to participate was secured by the world champion Barbara Matić (up to 70 kg) and Karla Prodan (up to 78 kg), members of JK Pujanke from Split.
Maranić is the winner of the world junior bronze medal from 2010. She works with coach Goran Strmotić and welcomed the news from the EJU training camp in Poreč.
“Huge luck! So many different feelings and thoughts in my head! Proud, happy, excited. After so many challenges and work, performing at the Olympic Games will be the crown of everything,” said Maranić.
Croatian judo was represented by Marijana Mišković (up to 63 kg) and Tomislav Marijanović (up to 81 kg) at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and Barbara Matić (up to 70 kg) in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
Numerous Olympic, world, and European champions are preparing for Tokyo at the camp in Poreč. Along with Barbara Matić, the current world champion Belgian Matthias Casse is also looking to focus and polish his form for a quality performance in Japan. Furthermore, the current Olympic winners from Rio de Janeiro in 2016, Czech Lukas Krpalek and Slovenian Tina Trstenja, are in Poreč preparing to defend their gold, and the European champions Belgian Toma Nikiforov, Kosovars Akil Gjakova, and Distria Krasniqi want new successes in Tokyo.
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