First Boxer for Croatia at 2020 Olympic Games: Luka Plantić is Going to Tokyo!

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:

Photo: Luka Stanzl / PIXSELL
Photo: Luka Stanzl / PIXSELL

Luka Plantić (24) won a spot in the quarterfinals of the Olympic qualifiers in the light heavyweight category (81 kg) against Irishman Emmat Brennan and became the first Croatian boxer to qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, reports T.portal

Plantić started the match aggressively against the powerful Brennan, and in the first minute, the referee counted on the Irish boxer. The Sesvete fighter kept his advantage until the end, and all five referees gave him their vote and unanimously declared him the winner.

At the beginning of the qualifications in London in 2020, Plantić defeated Austrian seed Umar Dzambekov, and on Friday, broke the Armenian Gora Nersesyan in the first round.

“We worked for this moment for a year and were preparing for the qualifiers. I came fully ready, made great progress, and knew that no one could stop me. The quarterfinals against the Irish boxer was like a World Cup final to me, a lot of pressure, and as I announced – I knew I was a bigger fighter than him and than anyone and that I would prove it. It wasn’t easy; he’s excellent, he didn’t give up all three rounds. I had the strength for a few more rounds, but after the first two, it was clear that I had a big advantage and that I could also save a little for the semi-finals. The fight with Whittaker will be much more relaxed, without pressure, now I will enjoy boxing, and we will celebrate the success upon our return to Croatia,” said Luka.

Earlier, Croatian boxer Marko Milun (24) failed to qualify for the Olympic qualifiers quarterfinals in Paris in the super heavyweight category (+91 kg). In the round of 16, Milun lost by unanimous decision of the refs (5-0) to the favorite of the category, Briton Fraser Clarke. The more experienced Clarke managed to impose his style of fighting and used more weight. From such a static, dirty fight with a lot of pushing and wrestling, pulling and holding Milun, Clarke managed to place two strong shots in the first and second rounds, forcing the ref to count Milun twice. On his Facebook profile, the modest athlete from Dicmo, a member of Leonard from Zagreb, realistically assessed the long-awaited fight with the powerful Briton:

“Today marks the end of a major chapter in my life. Everything I did, I did precisely because of this opportunity that I unfortunately missed. As for the fight, I never got away with it, so that I won’t do it this time either. We both did our best, and in the heat of the fight, I lost consciousness at the very beginning. I suspect a punctured eardrum, but whatever it is, I was not fully aware of the fight,” said Milun.

He is left hoping that he can go to Tokyo through the World Boxing Federation ranking list because only four super heavyweights will qualify directly from Paris, i.e., only the semifinalists.

Nikolina Ćaćić, in the 57 kg category, will fight in the quarterfinals for Tokyo on Sunday, June 6, in the afternoon program.

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