“The moment has come that I have been dreaming about for the past two years,” said Croatian high jump star Blanka Vlasic ahead of her comeback meeting in New York.
Vlasic, who is a former World Champion and Olympic silver medalist, has been out of the sport for the past two years because of injury. The tall 25-year-old Split champion will appear at the Diamond League meeting in New York on 25 May.Blanka, who almost pulled the pin on her career after withdrawing from the London Olympics when an Achilles operation was slow to heal, says she is read to jump again.
“Behind me is the longest preparation in my life. In some facets I am better than ever and I would not come back to jumping if I did not know I could do it,” said Vlasic.
Dinamo Zagreb’s Chairman Zdravko Mamic has told reporters on Monday that the club will do all it can to bring back one of its former stars as it looks to build a side to qualify for their 5th appearance in the Champions League.
Former Dinamo Zagreb and Croatian international Eduardo da Silva is on Dinamo Zagreb’s radar and the club say they will do everything to bring the former Arsenal striker back ‘home’ to Zagreb.
“We have through trusted channels sent more than a signal that we really want him and there is no reason that him coming back wont happen,” said Mamic.
Eduardo was not surprised when he heard the news, and did not rule it out a return.
“The situation is complicated, it is not so easy. It is clear that I would like to return sooner or later to Dinamo, but when I decide to come back it will not be because of money, it will be because of love and respect towards the club which created my name in football” said Eduardo, who has one-year left on his contract with Ukrainian club Shahktar Donetsk.
Eduardo, who is currently fighting a court battle with Mamic over contract issues, has publicly stated that he plans to return to live in Zagreb one day where his wife is from.
Former Croatia football coach Slaven Bilic has set a record in his first season as boss of Russian club FC Lokomotiv Moscow, but it is a record the former West Ham and Everton defender would like to forget in a hurry.
After losing 2:1 to Anzhi Makhachkala on the weekend Bilic secured FC Lokomotiv Moscow’s lowest ever position in their Russian Premier League history. With one round remaining Bilic’s side sits in 10th place, with a best placing of 9th only possible if the results go their way in the last round.
Bilic signed with the Russian club last June and took former Croatia assistants Aljosa Asanovic and Nikola Jurcevic and other back room staff with him. Lokomotiv Moscow have won the Russian Premier League two times and the Russian Cup a record of five times.
The most successful sporting team in any code from the Dalmatian city of Split have just wrapped up their record 11th championship in a row. Nada Rugby Club beat Sinj 53:10 on Sunday to once again claim the Croatian championship.
The club celebrated the title in style with a ‘festa’ after captain Mate Borozan collected the Croatian championship cup from the President of the Croatian Rugby Federation Veceslav Holjevac at their Stari Plac home ground. It was Nada Rugby Club’s 29th Croatian title.
Zagreb-based ice hockey club Medvescak, who will become the first Croatian team ever to play in KHL league, which outside the American hockey league is the strongest league in the world, have made their first signing as they look to bolster their squad.
Canadian-Croat Mark Dekanich is the first to sign with the Zagreb club as they prepare for the upcoming KHL league in Russia. Dekanich, who is a goaltender, made his NHL debut for Nashville Predators in 2010 before joining the Winnipeg Jets in 2012. Dekanich was most recently with AHL side the St John’s Icecaps.
“Mark is a very good goaltender who also has Croatian ancestry. He is extremely happy that he has an opportunity to play in Zagreb for Medvescak,” said Medvescak Director of Sport Aaron Fox.
Sacked Hajduk Split FC coach Miso Krsticevic is the new Croatian football team assistant coach. Coach Igor Stimac confirmed the decision on Friday to appoint Krsticevic as a replacement for Igor Tudor who left the job to take over as Hajduk Split coach.
Stimac is waiting for Krsticevic to tie up loose ends with Hajduk Split and once the paper work is done he will join the side. Croatia next face Scotland in a World Cup Qualifier in Zagreb early next month.
Rumors are rife in Croatia that former international Ivan Klasnic is set to finish his career in the Croatian first division with NK Rijeka.
The 33-year-old former Werder Bremen, Nantes and Bolton striker is in the plans of Rijeka’s ambitious drive to push for the Croatian league title next season. Klasnic is not Rijeka’s only target.
The blues from the northern Adriatic port city are also lining up one of their former stars Anas Sharbini who was bought by Hajduk Split before joining Saudi club Ittihad FC in 2012. Klasnic is currently at German side Mainz 05 after signing a one-year deal last September.
Retired Croatian professional tennis player Mario Ancic has switched codes – in a professional capacity at least. The former world number 7 and Davis Cup winner has landed a job with the NBA basketball league in New York.
Ancic, who retired from the game because of illness in 2009, is a law school graduate and landed a job in the legal department of the NBA at their New York offices. Ancic, who attended Harvard Law, enrolled at Columbia Law School in 2012 where he graduated with a master’s degree.
Ancic, who made a name for himself when he beat Roger Federer in his Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon as a teenager, beat of thousands of applicants for the job.
The accolades keep coming for in-form Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic. The Bayern Munich marksmen, who will be the sole Croatian playing in this year’s Champions League final at Wembley on Saturday 25 May, has just been named in renowned football portal Goal.com’s best 11 in the German Bundesliga for this season.
Mandzukic is the only Croat in the side and joins 6 of his Bayern Munich teammates who dominate the starting eleven.
The side selected by Goal.com is: Adler, Carvajal, Dante, Lahm, Muller, Kross, Gotze, Ribery, Mandzukic, Lewandowski, Kiessing.
St. John’s Wood Cricket Club from London (above) beat The Hostes from Vis in the final to be crowned the winners of the 2nd Vis International Sixes tournament held on the picturesque Croatian island of Vis earlier this month.
4 teams from the UK (St. John’s Wood, Royal Hotshots, Little Springweald, Garbaldersham CC) joined local Croatian teams Sokol (Zagreb), Chiefs Indians (Zagreb), The Runs (Zagreb), Sir Oliver CC (Split), The Hoste’s (Vis), Slona Pogaca (Vis), Dubrovnik Sun Gardeners (Dubrovnik) and a combined side (Pick Up 6′s) in the 3-day annual tournament played mostly in glorious sunshine.
Last year’s runners-up The Hoste’s had a chance again to get their name engraved on the trophy when they knocked out Sokol in the first semi-final on Sunday. The Hoste’s chased down Sokol’s 62 with 3 balls to spare. In the second semi-final favourites St. John’s Wood disposed of Little Springweald.
Craig Wear’s The Hoste’s side will be hoping that its third time lucky next year after losing their second final on the bounce. Having restricted St. John’s Wood to 72 in 5 overs through some tight bowling in particular from former Croatian international Lenko Marinkovic, The Hoste’s had a slight sniff, but key wickets at crucial times hamstrung their chase as they finished up short in the chase.
The tournament, in its second year, was a huge success and credit must go to the Vis team for doing a stirling job organising the event and the amazing hospitality they provided all the sides and spectators. The ‘spirit of cricket’ was evident in abundance both on and off the field, and a testimony to that were the host of new friendships made throughout the tournament. Quiet possibly also the tournament may have set a first for cricket – the first flare to ever go off at a cricket match, certainly wont see that at Lords. Only in Croatia. (source: www.croatia-cricket.hr)