The Croatia men’s volleyball team celebrated in the final of the Mediterranean Games in Oran on Monday, reaching the title without losing a set in the match for the gold medal. Croatia defeated Spain 3:0 (25:22, 30:28, 25:20).
The final was tense, as it should be, but Croatia was slightly better than Spain from the start. Croatia won the first set with a three-point advantage, the second with two, and finally the third with a five-point advantage.
Petar Đirlić led Croatia’s victory with 16 points and captain Marko Sedlacek with 15 points. The best player for Spain was Andres Jesus Villena Rodriguez with 17 points.
The Croatia men’s national team at the Mediterranean Games included Bernard Bakonji, Petar Višić, Ivan Mihalj, Kruno Nikačević, Stipe Perić, Petar Đirlić, Tomislav Mitrašinović, Hrvoje Pervan, Marko Sedlaček, Filip Šestan, Tino Hanžić and Ivan Zeljković.
“Fantastic atmosphere. We are not used to playing in front of such a large number of fans. We are glad that so many of our athletes came to support us. We beat Spain three times this summer, we knew we were favorites. From the first moment, we knew what we came for. The first after many years. Congratulations to everyone and let’s celebrate!” said the golden Petar Đirlić.
In the fight for the bronze medal, Italy beat France 3:1 (22:25, 25:20, 25:15, 31:29).
But that’s not all.
Olympic taekwondo champion Matea Jelić also won the gold medal at the Mediterranean Games, defeating Spaniard Cecilia Castro Burgos 8-7 in the final up to 67 kg. On her way to gold, Jelić first defeated Anamarija Georgijevska from Macedonia 28-5 in the quarterfinals and Aya Shehata from Egypt 8-5 in the semifinals.
In addition to this gold, Croatia taekwondo became richer thanks to yet another medal won on Monday in Oran. Nika Petanjek won the bronze in the category over 67 kg.
In the quarter-finals, she eliminated Spaniard Tania Maria Castineira 7-4, but in the semi-finals, Turkish fighter Nafia Kus was better than her 11-10.
Josip Teskera, who was defeated in the quarter-finals of the category up to 58 kg, also competed on Monday.
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