ZAGREB, November 7, 2016 (Croatian news agency HINA) - Croatian Skating Federation presented a new large project, according to which from now on the Croatian skating will be represented at the world's biggest competitions by an interesting sports couple, Lana Petranović and Russian skater to perform under our flag, Antonio Laudelino Souza Cordejru.

After two months of training at the famous Moscow's skating camp with the world's most famous names, in the past couple of weeks this couple has been preparing for their premier debut (November 18-20 at the ISU Challenge in Warsaw) in Zagreb’s Ice Hall of the Dom sportova (sports hall Home of Sports) under the guidance of the coach Yuri Larionov, until recently a great Russian skater, former European Vice-Champion in Figure Skating.

"I really can say we’ve got a couple that will be competitive on the world’s skating map, representing Croatia – without any problems – already at the Winter Olympics in 2018. We have put all our efforts into this project, very important for the future of our skating. We believe that Lana and Antonio will show their quality already in Warsaw for two weeks, and the Croatian public will have a chance to see them on Zagreb's ice from December 8 to 10, on the occasion of the 49th edition of the Zagreb’s Golden pirouette", said the President of the Croatian Skating Federation Morana Paliković Gruden.

"I was born in Moscow, my mother is Russian, but my father is Portuguese. I performed for Russia, achieved good results, but the Russian national team does not have place for all, and because of that I believe the option to skate for Croatia was completely OK. This is a great opportunity to realize my dreams, performing at major competitions, but especially at the Winter Olympics", wished the 23-year-old Antonio.

"I am very happy for being given the opportunity to be paired with such a skater, but also to work with the coach who is our role model. Yuri decided to end his career and turn to coaching, and in agreement with the Croatian and the Russian Federation, he took us. Antonio and I "clicked" at first, we became good friends right away, we get along very well both on and off the ice, and I believe we will immediately show that we worth a lot. We are planning to immediately reach the qualifying standard for the European Championships in January in Ostrava and the World Championship in March in Helsinki. It will be a great experience for our main goal, the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. It was my dream since my childhood", revealed Lana.

In terms of figure skating, Croatia had no Olympic representatives in this discipline since Turin 2006 and Idora Hegel, and no sports pair ever.

I like Zagreb. We have excellent conditions for training. In a few days, Warsaw will give us all the answers and set clear goals. At the trainings, they are excellent, doing their best, diligent, but first we're going to reach the qualifying standard for the European Championships and then it will all be easier", said the coach Yuri Larionov. (xkdom yzm).