PyeongChang, February 10, 2018 – Second day of Winter Olympics in PyeongChang brought the first appearances of the Croatian Olympians. The athletes that opened the Olympics for Croatia were Nordic disciplines’ athletes – cross-country skiers Edi Dadić and Krešimir Crnković instead of initially announced Alpine skier Natko Zrnčić Dim.


Namely, due to heavy winds at the Jeongseon track, the Alpine skiers’ Downhill race was canceled i.e. postponed for Thursday, February 15 at 11 a.m. (3 a.m. Croatian time) changing thus also the term of the Men's Super-G to Friday (February 16th).


The skiers also participated in a very demanding Skiathlon race (15 km Classical + 15 km Freestyle). In his Olympic and official debut in the new sports, Krešimir Crnković took 53rd place in the competition of 69 registered skiers, with 7:06.09 behind the winner. Unfortunately, Edi Dadić did not finish the race. At the 17th kilometer, he felt pain in his legs, did another round and, upon the suggestion of the coach Skender, pulled out of the race.


The Norwegians demonstrated the absolute dominance in the race by taking all the places at the Winners Pedestal. Simen Hegstad Krüger won the gold with 8.0 seconds ahead of silver Martin Johnsrud Sundby and 9.9 seconds ahead of bronze Hans Christer Holund. It is important to point out that one of the biggest hopes for the gold, also Norwegian - Klæbo, was not that successful in the race, winning as low as 10th place, as well as the defender of gold from Sochi, Switzerland’s Cologne, who took the sixth place.


Croatian Olympic Team’s coach Zoran Skender rated the first appearance of his sprinters:

 

- Crnković was a pleasant surprise, especially in Classical, where he gave more than his maximum, while in freestyle he has confirmed his quality. Concerning Edi Dadić, he suffered another extreme situation – namely, after 17 kilometers of the race he felt pains in his legs. These pains were growing stronger, so we decided for him to pull out before the situation got worse...

 

Biathlon athlete Crnković boldly tried out his chance in Sprint in the strongest world competition:

 

- I'm happy with the performance. I did not think it would turn out so well. The conditions were catastrophic, cold, windy... Only the bravest decided to start. I had problems in the first part of the race because Classical is not my primary discipline and I'm not the strongest in that. That's why I lost some time that I managed to make up for later... And if you ask me if I’ll stay a sprinter only or a biathlon athlete, the answer is - a biathlon athlete.

 

Extreme weather conditions had a significant impact on the outcome of Edi Dadić's race:

 

- The weather conditions were demanding and heavy, there was -15 on the track with a strong wind. In Classical, I still managed to keep up with the group, but in Freestyle I started feeling pains in my legs i.e. cramps and decided that it was better for me to pull out in order to recover for the next race, sprint scheduled already for Tuesday.

 

On the third day of Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, there will be athletes competing in 10 sports disciplines in 10 sports, with Croatian Olympians, Alpine skiers, participating in Giant Slalom (Leona Popović, Ida Štimac and Andrea Komšić) and Luge (Daria Obratov).

(coc/vk)