RIO DE JANEIRO, August 19, 2016. (Hina) – Having Sara Kolak win gold in Javelin Throw, Šime Fantela and Igor Marenić win the first Croatian Olympic gold in Sailing (Men’s 470) and advancement of the Croatian Olympic Water Polo Team Rio 2016 to the finals, the twelfth day of Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will be remembered as one of the most successful days in the Croatian Olympic history.
Croatian athlete Sara Kolak became the Olympic champion and improved her personal and national record, which now stands at 66.18 meters. With this throw, Sara left behind the until that point leading South African Sunette Viljoen for 1.26 meters.
Šime Fantela and Igor Marenić won the title of Olympic Champions in Men’s 470 and they reached the peak of their career with 15 points advantage over the silver Australians Mathew Belcher and Will Ryan.
With their third appearance at the Olympics, Fantela and Marenić crowned many years of work with the first Olympic medal, after the ninth place in Beijing in 2008 and sixth in London in 2012. In 11 races in Rio de Janeiro, the lowest result Fantela and Marenić achieved was the one from the eight race.
On Thursday, the Croatian Olympic Water Polo Team Rio 2016 defeated - in semifinals - Montenegro with 12-8 (4-3, 3-2, 1-1, 4-2), and ensured thus a silver medal. Top scorers were Andro Bušlje with 4 and Anđelo Šetka with 3 three goals. This is the third Olympic medal won by the Croatian water polo players, winners of silver in Atlanta in 1996 and gold in London in 2012.
On a brilliant day of Croatian athletics, Stipe Žunić (Shot Pu) and Blanka Vlašić (High Jump) advanced to the finals in their disciplines. The Zadar native took the 11th place in the finals with shot of 20.04 cm, which was almost half a meter shorter than his best attempt from the morning qualifying round (20:52 m).
22-year-old Zagreb native Filip Mihaljević participated in the qualifying round as well, ending up – with a shot of 19.69 m – in 21st place.
Croatian record holder in High Jump, Blanka Vlašić advanced to the High Jump finals as one of the 15 contestants that have skipped the default qualifying standard of 1.94 meters. Blanka did it in the first attempt. The second Croatian representative in this discipline Ana Šimić jumped 1.89 meters and took the 22nd place in the competition of 33 female high jumpers.
The last Croatian representatives in Taekwondo Ana Zaninović and Filip Grgić ended their Olympic appearance ended in the first fight. Zaninović was defeated in round 1 of the category up to 57 kg by the 18-year-old Kimia Alizadeh Zendorin of Iran with 6-7, while Grgić was defeated in the category up to 63 kg by Joel Gonzalez of Spain with 4-3, winner of gold medal in London in the category up to 58 kg and current World Vice-Champion in the category up to 63 kg.