Matea Samardzic from Split, First Cro Swimmer to Qualify for Rio 2016 Olympics

Total Croatia News

Weekend full of new Croatian swimming records in Split

This weekend, Split is hosting the very best Croatian swimmers for the national swimming championship. More than 500 swimmers from 36 clubs have been trying to reach the European championship qualifying norms, and they were so successful that the national team director Tomislav Karlo, at some point on day 3 on February 27, 2016, said he will have to ban any other swimmer from reaching the norm since they will need two planes to get them all to London.

More than 5 records were broken in the first three days and swimmers are far fro done. Youn rising star, 15-year-old Karlo Noah Paut broke his own (national) record (100 m freestyle) three times less than 24 hours. Considering he will still perform in two events on the last day of the championship, we can expect more great things from this youngster.

The highlight of day three of the championship was the brilliant performance by Matea Samardžić, the 21-year-old swimmer from Split, who set the new national record (200 m  backstroke) and became the first Croatian swimmer to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics reaching the A qualifying norm (2:09:73).

 It only took 10 minutes to organise a cake and champagne for the star of the evening, just in time for the medals ceremony: “I’m beyond excited. I knew I was close and I tried to do my best. When I heard the speaker announce the time saying I just broke the record and qualified for the Olympics, I couldn’t believe it. It still doesn’t seem real. I now have to concentrate on my other events and I’ll think about the Olympics on Monday” Matea said just as she received her medal.

Championship continued this morning with qualifying heats in 12 events and another national record set by the Dubrava junior medley relay team (F). Finals are scheduled for this afternoon (5 PM onwards) and all eyes will once again be on Matea Samardić since she will be competing in 100 m backstroke and 400 m medley. She was very close to the Olympic norm in the qualifying eat so who knows, she just might hit the trifecta!


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