Team Croatia ran out of gas in the end against team U.S.A.
Women’s Basketball: One of the biggest upsets in Olympic history was almost recorded at the basketball arena in London as 31st ranked Croatia challenged the world’s best USA. The spread was set at 38.5 and the US had defeated Croatia by 54 just one week prior. It started off predictably enough as Croatia missed their first 14 shots and failed to score in the first 7 minutes. They were down 11-4 after the 1st quarter. They started landing shots and their confidence increased the longer they were able to stick with the Americans. The deficit was just five going into the 4th quarter but the U.S turned it on right as Croatia began to run out of gas and pulled away, winning 81-56. Jelena Ivecić and Maria Vrsaljko led Croatia with 22 and 19 points respectively. Croatia plays China on Monday at 4:00 EST and should come in full of confidence.
Maja Zebić(right) of Croatia attacks the goal in women’s handball preliminaries
Women’s Handball: Croatia’s women’s handball team suffered a disappointing loss to Brazil on Saturday by a score of 23-24. They managed to keep it close throughout until Brazil went on a run late in the game and Croatia couldn’t respond. Croatia takes on Angola on July 30th at 4:30 EST.
Shooting: Snježana Pejcić, bronze medalist from Beijing failed to qualify for the final in her best event, the 10m air rifle, and finished tied for 13th.
Men’s Gymnastics: Croatia’s other returning medalist, Filip Ude, also was knocked out his only event, the pommel horse, in the qualifying rounds. Filip was expected to contend for a medal but he lost his grip and slipped of the apparatus, crushing his chances of making the final. He finished in 32nd out of 69 despite the fall.
Croatia’s Carolina Molnar in action on opening day
Table Tennis: Tian Yuan and Carolina Molnar both won their first round matches in straight sets. Molnar lost later in the day in her second round match to Kim Jong of North Korea.
Mario Vekić qualified for the quarterfinals on opening day
Rowing: The Young Guns (Croatia’s 4 man rowing team) won their qualifying heat against the reigning world and Olympic champions Poland and Australia. Their semifinal heat is at 5:40 EST on August 1st. Mario Vekić qualified for the quarterfinals of the single sculls competition with a 2nd place finish in his heat.
Tennis: Ivan Dodig bowed out of the first round of the men’s singles tournament, losing to Juan Martin Del Potro in 2 sets. Ivo Karlović and Petra Martić were forced to withdraw from the competition with injuries.