Zagreb, 8 September 2021 - Minister of Defense Mario Banožić and Head of General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces Admiral Robert Hranj met on Wednesday, 8 September 2021, at the Ministry of Defense with top athletes - contractual reservists of the Croatian Army who won medals at the Tokyo Olympics (held from 23 July to 8 August).

Namely, 59 Croatian athletes achieved the second most successful summer Olympic performance since national independence, performing in as many as 16 sports. Of 42 top athletes - contractual reservists of the Croatian Army, 20 of them achieved the standard for performing at the Olympics, and seven of them have won Olympic medals: Martin and Valent Sinković, Matea Jelić, Tin Srbić, Tonči Stipanović, Damir Martin and Toni Kanaet.

Minister of Defense Mario Banožić wished them a lot of success in their further sport careers, adding that he was looking forward to the continuation of cooperation between the MORH (Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Croatia) and top athletes - contractual reservists.

- We want to help you to continue developing and achieving great successes. We're counting on you in the future. Continue being a recognizable value of the Croatian sport and promoters of the Croatian Army and our Homeland in the world, said the Minister, stressing that he was extremely proud of the fact that out of eight medals won in Tokyo, six were won by the Croatian Army reservists.

Speaking about sports in the Croatian Army, Head of General Staff Admiral Hranj said that perseverance, being successful and discipline are common to top athletes and excellent soldiers. - Your successes are not only the successes of the entire country, but also of the Croatian Army. I'm proud that you're part of our family.

On this occasion, the Croatian Olympic Committee’s Secretary General Sinisa Krajač thanked the Ministry of Defense and the Croatian Army for the support they provide to top athletes, saying that this is a great partnership, the pride and joy of the entire country.

A member of the golden rowing crew from Tokyo, Martin Sinković, recalled the very beginnings of his sport career and said: "The thought that we are a part of the winning Croatian Army and quite a strong system, was our motive for everything we have done and achieved next.

Gold medalist in Taekwondo Matea Jelić said that she is particularly honored to be part of the Croatian Army: - In a special way I feel the Croatian Army with my heart, and I am immensely proud to be a part of it.

Let us remind you, in accordance with the Agreement on Cooperation, Improvement and Development of Sports in the Republic of Croatia, signed between the Ministry of Defense and the Croatian Olympic Committee on 27 February 2015, the system Top athletes - contractual reservist currently counts 42 top athletes in reserve composition. The contract is signed for one year. (MORH/NOC of Croatia)