Zagreb, November 15, 2017 - At the ceremony at the Presidential Palace, the Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović presented the state awards for outstanding sports achievements. The list of 25 laureates includes the names of former and current athletes, coaches and sports officials, with the Croatian water-polo players dominating among them. Twelve of even 20 water -polo players (including Tucak selector) received the award in person.

In the group of honored athletes, the most brilliant order - the Order of the Duke Trpimir with the Neck Badge and Morning Star was received by our best athlete - Sandra Perković. By the way, it ranks fifth in the Croatian order of precedence. The 6th most important Croatian medal – the Order of Duke Branimir with neck badge was received by legendary tennis player Goran Ivanišević, as well as by well-known water-polo players: Sandro Sukno, Ivica Tucak, Vjekoslav Kobešćak, Samir Barać, Andro Bušlje and Maro Joković.

According to the decision of the President, the most often state prize awarded to the athletes – the Order of Danica Hrvatska (lit. Order of the Croatian Daystar) with the figure of Franjo Bučar (the thirteenth most important medal given by the Republic of Croatia) was received by : athletic coach Edis Elkasević, sports official Predrag Sloboda and water-polo team members Loren Fatović, Ivan Buljubašić, Ante Vukičević and Ivan Marcelić.

The Order of the Croatian Interlace (the Order of the Early Croatian three-strand pattern) was received by the Stipe Žunić shot-put, and current and former water-polo players: Marko Bijač, Javier Garcia Gade, Ivan Krapić, Luka Lončar, Marko Macan, Anđelo Šetka, Paulo Obradović, Miho Bošković, Ivan Buljubašić, Igor Hinić and Petar Muslim. The water-polo player Ivan Buljubasić received two national decorations, as he had not taken over the earlier awarded Order of the Croatian Interlace.
In her speech Sandra Perković expressed gratitude on behalf of all athletes who received the Orders. (coc/vk)