Tokyo, 26 July 2021 - Taekwondoka Matea Jelić secured Croatia's first medal at the Olympics, after reaching the finals of the category -67kg. The first seed of the Olympic tournament defeated American Paige McPherson with 15-4 in the semifinals.
The member of our National Taekwondo Team took a 5-0 lead at the very beginning of the fight, increased her advantage to 9-2 in end of the first round, only to lead with 14-2 in the second round. Jelić defeated Haitian Lauren Lee with 22-2 in her first appearance in Tokyo and Brazil's Milena Titoneli with 30-9 in the quarterfinals. The member of the taekwondo club TK Marjan from Split will meet her next rival at 2.30 p.m. Croatian time. It will be the better one from the second semifinals fight, either Ruth Gbagbi of Ivory Coast or Britain's Lauren Williams. This is the fourth medal for Croatia in Taekwondo, after the bronzes won by Sandra Šarić and Martina Zubčić in Beijing and Lucija Zaninović in London.
Toni Kanaet failed to reach the semifinals in the category -80kg, losing in the quarterfinals to Russia's Maxim Khramchev, who was leading 22-0 after two rounds and the duel was interrupted due to a too big difference in points. After the first round it was only 3-0 for the Russian, but early in the second round, the Russian very quickly won eight points and practically finished the duel. Kanaet is now left to hope that Khramchev will reach the finals, thus offering him the opportunity to win bronze through repechage. Our wild water slalom canoeist Matija Marinić had great misfortune in his semifinals’ appearance at the Tokyo Olympics. He remained first below the line and failed to enter the top ten to continue the fight for medal.
Table tennis player Tomislav Pucar bid farewell to the Olympic tournament with a 0-4 (9-11, 8-11, 9-11, 10-12) loss to Slovenia's Bojan Tokić. Pucar was free in the first round, and in the second round he ran into an experienced, 40-year-old Slovenian, who easily made it through four sets. Tomislav was leading 9-7 in the first set, but lost it, and – in terms of the remaining three sets – he came very close but did not win any of them.
- I've played against him twice before and I've lost both times, but very narrowly. Now it was 4-0, and all four sets were very close. I was leading with 9-7 in the first set and if I had won that one, maybe psychologically everything would have been different. The sets were quite narrow, but he was better in the finals - said Pucar.
Croatia thus no longer has representatives in individual competition. Gaćina, Pucar and Kojić will compete in team tournament, and already in the beginning they will face a very strong Taiwan.
Croatian boxer Nikolina Ćaćić ended her performance at the Tokyo Olympics in the -57kg category in the round of sixteen. By unanimous decision of the judges (5-0), she lost to 12-year-older Canadian Caroline Veyre.
Ćaćić announced that in the continuation of her career she will change the category in order to be even more successful for the next Games, in Paris in 2024.
Donna Vekić advanced to the round of sixteen at the Tokyo Olympics after beating the world's third-best female tennis player, Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, with 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (3) in the 2nd round match. Vekić said she was proud of the fact that in two days - through five hours of fighting - she managed to overcome two obstacles. In the fight for quarterfinals, she will play against Elena Rybakina, with whom she has not yet played.
Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić justified their status as the World's Best Tennis Pair and reached the quarterfinals of the Olympic tournament by beating Italy's Lorenzo Musetti and Lorenzo Sonego with 7-5, 6-7 (5), 10-7 in the second round after two hours and four minutes. For a place in the semifinals, Mektić and Pavić will play against Japan’s representatives Ben McLachlan and Kei Nishikori, who surprised the 7th holders, Britain's Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski, defeating them with 6-3, 6-4.
Our only men's tennis ace in individual competition of the Olympic tournament, Marin Čilić, failed to reach the round of sixteen. In the second round, he lost to Spain's Pablo Carreno-Busta (7-5, 4-6, 4-6). It was Čilić's first defeat in their fifth match against each other.
- Every series comes to an end, including my four wins against Pablo. I started the match great; I was aggressive, I put quite a lot of pressure and finally ruined his serve in the final. And early in the second set I was pretty good, but then I started having troubles with the serve, which is very common lately, especially in the final. It's a shame, but he was just better in the second and third set - said Marin Čilić correctly.
Sailor Tonči Stipanović ranked second after the first three Laser races, while sailor Jelena Vorobeva holds sixth position after four Laser Radial races.
Silver Olympian from Rio de Janeiro five years ago, Stipanović (35) had a good day on Monday by taking the sixth and third place, while Vorobeva was not so successful on Monday by ranking the 13th and 41st. Fortunately, this 41st place is deleted from her result, so with 26 negative points she is still in a very good sixth place.
There will be ten races in Laser and Laser Radial, after which top 10 will enter the race for the medals. (NOC of Croatia)