Zagreb, September 2, 2016 – The Committee, consisting of representatives of the Croatian Olympic Committee, Croatian Sports Journalists Association and Croatian Olympians Club, decided at today's session that Brigita Matić and Istok Rodeš are among the winners of the award "Dražen Petrović" for 2016.
Judoka Brigita Matić was proclaimed the most successful female athlete of the younger age categories. In 2015, this 20-year-old athlete has won the title of World Junior Champion and European Junior Vice-Champion in the category up to 78 kilograms.
The award is in this category i.e. for the most successful male athlete of younger age categories went to a member of the Croatian Olympic Ski Team Istok Rodeš, World Junior Champion in Slalom and the first Croatian skier who has won the title of World champion in the junior competition. At the same World Championships, Rodeš has won the third place in Alpine Combined.
The most successful women's team of younger age categories was the Croatian Cadet Judo Team consisting of: Matea Brletić, Lara Cvjetko, Iva Oberan, Lara Kliba, Lucija Babić, Anđela Violić, Helena Vuković, Lorena Štengl and Matea Behin. Young judokas, led by the head coach Dean Ilić, took the 3rd place as a team at the European Championships in Finnish Vantaa in July 2016.
Croatian Olympic Handball Team U18 was proclaimed the most successful men's team in younger age categories based on silver won at the European Youth Championships held in August in Koprivnica. The team consists of Ivan Panjan, Mateo Radočaj, Leon Strbad, Tomislav Špruk, Filip Turčić, Dario Raguž, Adrian Miličević, Nikola Grahovac, Halil Jaganjac, Josip Šarac, Daniel Vusić, Tin Lučin, Ivan Koncul, Vito Bahtijarević, Ivan Martinović, Filip Curiš, Ivan Ereš and Anthony Jurman.
Bocce players Ivan Čorić and Mateo Načinović were presented the award for the most successful sports pair, relay or crew of younger age categories for 3rd place won in relay – double rapid throwing- at the World Junior Championships in Casablanca in September 2015.
World Cadet Champion in karate, 16-year-old Jelena Pehar was proclaimed the female athlete –Greatest Hope of Croatian Sports, while her peer Luka Štrbenac was presented the same award in men's competition, for winning the title of European Junior Champion in the discipline Field-Crossbow.
The winners will be presented the award "Dražen Petrović" on September 10, at the ceremony held in the Museum of Contemporary Art on the occasion of 25th anniversary of establishment of the Croatian Olympic Committee and the award will be presented by the President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach.
The award named after the basketball legend and holder of three Olympic medals, is being awarded to talented young athletes and teams for outstanding sports results. In the past couple of years, this event forecasted future successes of the awarded athletes. Thus Sandra Perković, double Olympic champion in Discus Throw, was the winner of this award in 2009, while bronze medalist at the Rio Olympics, Filip Hrgović, was the winner of this award in 2010.
The award consists of a written charter with stylized image of Dražen Petrović and a certain amount of money. Committee consisting of Sandra Mandir, also the President of the Committee, Boško Lozica, Miho Glavić (Croatian Olympic Committee), Mario Zorko, Vinko Knežević, Nikola Lipovac, Dea Redžić (Croatian Sports Journalists Association), Ana-Marija Bujas Čelan, Išvan Varga, Natko Zrnčić Dim (Athletes' Commission of the Croatian Olympic Committee), Dubravko Šimenc, Martina Zubčić and Tamara Boroš (Croatian Olympians Club) brings decision on candidates proposed by the national sports federations.