- Women’s Basketball: There were many Croatian athletes on hand at the London Basketball Arena to see Croatia take on the Czech Republic including the Men’s handball team, tennis players Marin Čilić and Ivan Dodig, and Zoran Primorać. Croatia got off to fantastic start, leading 10-0 after just four minutes. The Czechs started to hit their shots and went on a run of their own to go up 22-19 at the end of the 1st quarter. Croatia went into the half down 39-45 and it was clear that their biggest problem was the number of second and third chances they were giving up. The Czechs started on top again in the third. Antonija Mišura came off the bench and provided some much needed energy on both ends of the court. The Croats started hitting shots and upped the intensity as they took the lead mid-quarter. They went into the final quarter up 60-57. The Czechs started to show their superiority in the first five minutes of the 4th, pushing to an eleven point lead, and leaving the Croatians wondering what went wrong. There would be no answer to the Czechs run and the game finished Czech Republic 89, Croatia 70. The Czech coach called a timeout with 1.6 seconds remaining which appeared to get under the skin of a few players but the game ended without incident. Sandra Mandir led the team with 20 points and added 6 rebounds. Croatia has been outscored 79-32 in the fourth quarter, perhaps a sign of their inexperience at the highest level. Croatia must win their final two games to have a chance at advancing to the quarterfinals. They play fellow bottom-dwellers Angola in their next game.
Rowing: The “Young Guns” finished first in their semifinal heat of the quad sculls and posted the fastest time overall, putting them in a great position going into the final. Russia led for the first 1200 meters before Croatia overtook them and never looked back, winning their heat by over two seconds. The final is on Friday at 5:10 AM EST, but the replay can be seen online and it’s one you won’t want to miss. The Young Guns are favorites to win Croatia’s first gold medal since 2004, with Germany being the most likely to overtake them.
- Women’s Handball: Croatia’s women’s handball team earned a huge victory Russia in their third game of the group stage, upsetting Russia and winning 30-28. It was all Russia early on as they surged ahead to an 8-3 lead midway through the first half. Croatia closed the deficit and never looked back. They held on to a slight lead all the way until the buzzer, with Russia nearly pulling off a dramatic comeback towards the end. Andrea Penezić led the way for Croatia, using her height to shoot over the defense and tally 10 goals. Croatia has all but clinched a quarterfinal berth and play Montenegro in their penultimate group game on Friday. A win in that would put them in fantastic position to finish second in the group, and put them in the hunt for a medal.
- Tennis: Marin Čilić and Ivan Dodig defeated the Swedish duo of Johan Brunstrom and Robert Lindstedt 6-3, 6-2, in the round of 16 of men’s doubles. The Croats had just one break point in the first set, and they took it. The second set was a walk in the park for the pair as they broke the Swedes twice and only lost seven points on their serve. They are now in the quarterfinals, just one win away from playing for a medal. They will play the Feliciano Lopez and David Ferrer of Spain. Ferrer is ranked 5th in the world for singles, Lopez 29th. The match will be played on Thursday at 9:00 AM EST.
“This is without a doubt the best match that we’ve played together. Everything fell into place, we served well, capitalized on our chances and deserved to win. The fans gave us exceptional support, cheering for us from the beginning to the end. They were loud and motivated us to victory.” – Dodig
- Sailing: Tonci Stipanović was in command of the sea Wednesday, finishing third in the fifth race and winning the sixth. He is in third in the Laser with five races remaining, just seven points out of first. Luka Mratović is in 23rd in the RS-X after four races. Pavle Costov and Petar Cupać are in 16th through six races in the 49er. Tina Mihelić is in 20th through six races in the laser radial.