RIO DE JANEIRO, August 7, 2016 (Hina) - On the first day of competing at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro the best Croatian shooter Snježana Pejčić has won the seventh place in the Air Rifle finals, the water polo players continued defending gold from London by winning 7-5 against the USA team, while the cyclist Kristijan Đurasek took the excellent 18th place in the road race.
Rijeka native Snježana Pejčić was the first Croatian athlete in Rio de Janeiro to compete for an Olympic medal, however, after entering the 10 m Air Rifle finals with 7th place (416.0 rounds), she took the same place she in the fight for a medal, and failed to repeat the success from Beijing, where she has won - eight years ago - bronze in the same event. The second Croatian representative Zagreb native Valentina Gustin took the 23rd place in 413.9 rounds in the competition with 51 shooters. The first gold medal in Rio has been won by the 19-year-old American athlete, Virginia Thrasher, while Li Du and Yi Siling of China settled with second and third place.
The cyclist Christian Đurasek has won the excellent 18th place in the road race, 3:31 minutes behind the Belgian Greg Van Avermaet (6:10:05), who has become the new Olympic champion. The other Croatian representative Matija Kvasina had to change his bicycle during the competition due to the technical problems with the gearbox and in the end failed to finish the race. Đurasek’s result is the second best ranking of Croatian cyclists in road races. Compared to them, the only cyclist who took a better place was August Prosenik who took the 13th place at the Berlin Olympics in 1936.
By winning against the USA team in the first round of Group B with 7-5 (2-2, 1-1, 2-1, 2-1), the water polo team defended the gold medal, won four years ago in London. The best Croatian water polo player was the goalkeeper Marko Bijač with 13 defenses. With two goals, Maro Jokovic and Angelo Šetka were the best Croatian scorers, while Antonio Petković, Luka Bukić and Sandro Sukno scored one goal each. The next match is scheduled for Tuesday, August 9th, at 1:50 a.m., when our water polo player will compete against the Montenegro national team.
Current World and European Champions in Double Sculls, brother Martin and Valent Sinković, qualified without much trouble for the semi-finals, scheduled for Tuesday. In the third qualifying group, our best rowers won with a score of 6: 30.09 minutes. Damir Martin advanced to the quarterfinals of Men’s Single Sculls by taking the second place in his qualifying group behind Nils Jakob Hoff of Norway.
The best Croatian tennis player Marin Čilić defeated Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria with a convincing 6-1, 6-4 in the first round of Men’s Singles, while the second round is scheduled for Monday to be played against one of the better Russians, Teimuraz Gabashvili and Radu Albot. In the second round of Women’s Singles, tennis player Ana Konjuh advanced with by winning with 7-6 (5), 6-1 against Annika Beck of Germany. Ana's next rival is Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain, who has defeated Ana Ivanović of Serbia. Borna Čorić was defeated in his Olympic debut, after the holder of 15th place Gilles Simon of France defeated him in the first round with 6-4, 7-6 (1). Away from the first round could not Marin Čilić and Marin Draganja did not advance to the second round in Men’s Doubles, since they were defeated by Novak Đoković and Nenad Zimonjić of Serbia with 6-2, 6-2.
The boxer Hrvoje Sep defeated Abelrahman Salah Orabi Abdelgawwad of Egypt in the 1st round of Light-Heavyweight (81 kg) with the judges’ split decision 2-1 (30-27, 27-30, 29-28). In the round of 16, scheduled for Wednesday, August 8th at 6:15 p.m., he will compete against Michel Borges of Brazil.
The swimmer Matea Samardžić failed to qualify for the finals of Women's 400 m Individual Medley. The young athlete from Split won in her qualifying group with a score of 4: 39.41 minutes, which represents a new Croatian record, but in the total ranking she ended up in the 17th place. Samardžić will participate in Women's 100 m Backstroke on Sunday and in her best discipline, Women's 200 m Backstroke, where she has won bronze at this year's European Championships, she will compete on Thursday.
Croatian athlete who has experienced the biggest disappointment on the first day of competition was the 30-year-old gymnast Filip Ude, who has - due to fall in the final of his exercise on the Pommel Horse - earned a rating of 14.333 and the 30th place in the qualifying round, loosing thus the chance to compete in the finals. For entering the finals, the athletes had to score more than 15.300 points.