He won silver on the pommel horse in Varna with a score of 13,850 in the final, in which Croatia had two finalists. Liam Rabić (ZTD Hrvatski Sokol) was also a debutant in the finals and finished 7th (13,300).
This is only the second senior season for Mateo, the student of coach Emil Šanjek, but he has already shown he can hang with the big boys. In his only second appearance at the World Cup, after the recent one in Cairo, he won a medal in his first final.
Only Cypriot Marios Georgiou (14,500) was better than Žugec, while the bronze went to Jordanian Ahmad Abu Al Soud (13,800).
“I entered the exercise with confidence; I knew I had to be on the podium. It was written that in the end, I was third; I thought I was third, but the judges made a mistake, corrected the Jordanian’s score, and I jumped to second place. I am delighted and very satisfied with myself, and I hope that it will continue like this. Both at the World Cup in Koper, which awaits me in June, and at the European Championships in August in Munich. We will continue training for these competitions,” said Mateo Žugec from Varna.
Croatia also had a representative in the women’s final. In her 36th career final, Tijana Korent finished 8th with a score of 12,200. The gold medalist was Aline Friess (13,600).
“Unfortunately, it was not as successful as in the qualifiers. For the second jump, I had to do a new jump, I made a mistake, so I didn’t even make that jump. I did the first jump, which is also new, and I’m happy with that. But I can’t say I’m pleased with the final performance. I hope that I will fix that by Osijek and that it will be better in the next competitions,” commented Tijana.
On the second final day, Ana Đerek will fight for a medal on the beam and the floor. Recall, Ana was brilliant in qualifying on Friday, taking third place in both disciplines.
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