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Zagreb, May 19, 2019 - On the official website of the Croatian Water Polo Federation (HVS) on Sunday evening appeared the news, which we hoped would be a significantly different. The legendary captain of the Croatian National Water Polo Team, 28-year-old Sandro Sukno, announced the end of his active career. After a heart surgery in the USA and a prolonged postoperative period, there was a quiet mentioning of such a possibility, but there was also a hope that one of the best Croatian water polo players of all time will return to the sports in which he is excellent, brilliant, unbeatable! Sandro explained everything in the statement:

Dear friends of sports,

fellow teammates, coaches, water polo officials, and above all fans, I feel obligated to inform the public that I had to make an uneasy decision.

I decided to end my active career for health reasons.

Namely, after a heart surgery in the United States early last year, which really successfully removed all of my then-problems and recovery that lasted a year, in contact with several of the most eminent experts, doctors from Croatia and abroad, and after thorough examinations and results of control check-ups, it showed up that my overall health condition is not optimal to continue my  involvement in high-quality sports and that there is not a hundred percent guarantee of health safety.

I decided to undergo the surgical procedure in Cleveland exactly because of sports, my favorite water polo that is an integral part of my life. The same applies to the recovery period, and I really did everything I could to get from many sides, from the best and most qualified doctors, a full opinion and the cleanest picture of my health. Unfortunately, I will not be able to return to my teammates in the pool, but just as water polo is an integral part of me, I hope that I will never get out of this wonderful and successful sports that i personally owe very much.

In particular, I would like to thank everyone who was part of my active career. My family, teammates, coaches and officials. I thank the fans and the public for the love that I have been overwhelmed  with during my career, but also on caring for the last year or two. A great thank to the doctors who did all they could to help me in the desired return to the pool.

I thank all the clubs I was a member of during my career, especially my parent club VK Jug CO, where I was practicing during my last season hoping to return.

Thank the Croatian Water Polo Federation for your attention, understanding and full support that I enjoyed all the time.

I will remain forever the biggest fan of our Croatian National Water Polo Team and the Croatian sports.

Sincerely

Sandro Sukno

The leaders of the Croatian Olympic Committee (HOO), President Zlatko Mateša and Secretary General Josip Čop, sent an expression of gratitude to the outstanding captain of the Croatian National Water Polo Team, whose treatment the National Olympic organization also supported financially:

Dear Sandro,

with your sports and human qualities, you have left an indelible imprint in the exceptionally trophy-winning period of Croatian water polo and sports in general. We know how difficult this decision has been and you deserve a congratulation in the first place for putting your own health at the top. Thank you for the abundance of beautiful moments you have given us as a trophy player and captain of Croatian water polo players. You've given your favorite sport immensely, priceless, and we're looking forward to the possibility of you staying in water polo in some other role. On behalf of the Croatian Olympic family -THANKS FOR EVERYTHING!  (cnoc/vk)