Croatia’s first medalists in London!
- Rowing: Croatia’s “Young Guns” took home Croatia’s first medal of the 2012 Olympics in slightly disappointing fashion, as they were favorites for gold and this was their first loss in 2012. Germany got off to a one second lead after 500 meters but no one was worried as the quartet of David Šain, Damir Martin, and Martin and Valent Sinković are known for their great closing speed, something they didn’t have on the day. Germany ended up running away with the win as Croatia just fought off Australia to take second. Although initially stunned by finishing second, their moods quickly improved as they realized what an accomplishment an Olympic medal is. It was Croatia’s first ever rowing medal. With the oldest “Young Gun” being 24, expect these guys to be back in 2016 looking for redemption, albeit with a different nickname.
Antonija Mišura was Croatia’s 6th woman against Angola
- Women’s Basketball: Croatia faced Angola, the other win-less team in their group, in their fourth game of the group stages Friday. In the first quarter Croatia took a six point lead with Ana Lelas scoring nine and Sandra Mandir adding eight. In the second quarter, Croatia held their lead and Antonija Mišura came off the bench once again and provided a spark on offense and defense, stealing the ball three times and scoring five points in a span of four minutes. They went into the half up 41-32. Croatia came out flying in the third quarter, going on a 12-0 run in the first five minutes as Angola clumsily turned the ball over several times. Angola immediately followed that up with an 8-0 run to bring the gap down to 13. With a 16 point lead going into the final quarter, Croatia were in a great position to secure their first win and they didn’t disappoint, winning 75-56. Croatia’s top scorers were Lelas with 23 and Mandir with 18. Despite the win, Croatia are all but eliminated, and will need to win their final game against Turkey and Angola must pull out a major upset over Czech Republic for Croatia to advance. Turkey defeated China by 26 today and it will be a tough game for Croatia.
Sandra Perkovic congratulated after her first and only throw
- Athletics: Sandra Perković threw 65.74 meters in the prelims of the discus, putting her in third as she easily advanced to the final. She hit the mark she needed on her first throw and that allowed her to scratch her last two and save some energy for the final. The final will be held at 2:30 PM ET on Saturday and she is certainly a medal contender. Nedžad Mulabegović had a good performance in the prelims of the shot put, finishing in 18th with a best throw of 19.86 meters, just one foot short of making the finals. András Haklits placed 30th in the prelims of the hammer competition with a throw of 70.61m. He fouled on his first and third attempts.
- Women’s Handball: Croatia won a nail-biter against Montenegro 27-26 in their penultimate group stage match despite a heroic effort from the Montenegrin keeper and the absence of winger Dijana Jovetić in the first half and top scorer Maja Zebić in the second. Croatia’s inablilty to convert penalties also nearly proved costly. The first half was back and forth and it was quite clear the teams were evenly matched as they went into the break all square at 12. Croatia missed all four of their penalty shots in the first half, something that would’ve stung if they didn’t pull out the win. Montenegro got out to a 17-15 lead in the second half before Lidija Horvat, cousin of Men’s team member Zlatko Horvat, scored three crucial goals in the space of two minutes to tie the game at 18. Both teams went back and forth and with nine minutes to go, the game was deadlocked at 25. Lidija Horvat scored two and the women of the match Andrea Penezić also scored to give Croatia a two goal lead with two minutes to play. Montengro got one back and with 30 seconds to go, they had a golden chance to tie the game but the ball slipped out of the attacker’s hand going out of bounds and giving the possession to Croatia. Credit should be given to Croatia’s defense, who only allowed two goals in the final nine minutes. Penezić finished the game with nine goals and three assists.
- The win gives Croatia their first ever Olympic quarterfinal appearance. Croatia finishes their preliminary round matches on Sunday at 10:15 ET against Great Britain, who have only just recently formed a team. Britain are 0-4 and Croatia will almost certaintly win. The placing between the top three teams has many scenarios, but if Croatia, Brazil, and Russia all win their final game, Croatia will come out as the two seed.
Bojan Durković looks towards the targets 164 feet away
- Shooting: Bojan Durković put on an impressive display in the 50m rifle prone, finishing 8th in the prelims, and 7th in the finals. He was not expected to finish in the top 20 and he will be more than happy with his Olympic performance thus far. His final event is the 50m rifle 3 positions.
Petar Cupać and Pavle Costov
- Sailing: Ivan Gaspić finished 4th and 10th in the ninth and tenth races and moved down to a tie for 4th overall. The medal race is on Saturday and points are doubled in that race. Ivan will have to beat Jonathan Lobert and finish three positions higher than Pieter-Jan Postma in order to medal. Tonči Stipanović finished 8th and 13th in the seventh and eighth races of the Laser. He remains in 3rd overall, but only has an eight point gap ahead of 4th with three races remaining. In the Women’ 470, Enia Nincević and Romana Župan are in 11th after the first day. In the Men’s 470, Šime Fantela and Igor Marenić are in 16th through four races. Dan and Marin Lovrović finished 16th in the Star. Through eight races, Tina Mihelić is in 17th in the Laser Radial. Petar Cupać and Pavle Costov are in 17th through 11 races of the 49er.