BAKU, June 29th, 2015 (Hina/Croatian Olympic Committee) – President of the Croatian Olympic Committee (COC) Zlatko Mateša expressed his satisfaction with the performance of Croatian athletes at the 1st European Games in Baku as well as with the very project in which he was one of the leading men.
Croatia has won 11 medals at the European Games, one gold, four silver and six bronze medals.
“I am pleased with the results of our athletes, especially in karate, taekwondo, boxing, shooting and swimming. For me, the most pleasant surprise are our young swimmers. They have won one medal and achieved a series of notable results. There comes a new generation of swimmers who are achieving valuable results as an encouragement for Olympic Games in Tokyo," said Mateša.
He admitted that there were athletes from whom a little more was expected.
"However, it is sports. Constant medal winning is not possible."
Mateša also commented the organization of the European Games, which was almost without any mistakes.
"The host has received a series of praises for event organization, accommodation and sports facilities. The athletes, coaches, officials and journalists were all extremely pleased, which pleases me a lot, because I have been leading this project for years", said the President of the Croatian Olympic Committee.
He stressed that the ranking of the European Games’ TV broadcast was exceptional.
"TV rights were sold in 145 countries, and approximately 820 million TV households watched the competitions, which is a fantastic figure. These Games were the most viewed Games after the Olympics", said Mateša, head of the working group that will choose the host of the European Games in 2019 after the Netherlands withdrew from the organization.
"We agreed everything with the Dutch Olympic Committee, but – due to the political relations in the country – they withdrew from the organization. Even before the European Games in Baku, we have had several candidates with whom we started negotiating. This is now a priority."
Mateša has revealed that the second edition of the European games shall offer a few novelties.
"The entire concept is based on innovation and flexibility. Different, maybe even with some new sports. The Games will bring a new step forward, but stay just as good."
Mateša declined to comment the media reports on the frozen account of the Croatian Olympic Committee, adding that everything on this issue can be found in the statement published on the official website of the Croatian Olympic Committee.
Head of Mission of the Croatian Olympic Committee Damir Šegota was also pleased with the performance of the Croatian athletes.
"I am pleased with the performance of all of our athletes because everything went fine and we had no major injuries.
Since these are the first Games, it is difficult to compare the results, but we can be satisfied because we have won 11 medals plus six fourth places, which is – in my opinion – quite a nice success. "
Šegota, six times Head of Mission at the Olympic Games, praised also the organization of the competition.
"The organization” has been at the same level as at the Olympics, in some segments perhaps even greater. The host really given his best, the athletes have had great conditions. Nobody can complain. This was best noticed during the meetings of the Heads of Missions where there were almost no issues related to the problems that could happen, " concluded Šegota.