Judo Champion Brigita Matić and World Junior Skiing Champion Istok Rodeš have been named Croatia’s best young sportspeople for 2016…
Matić and Rodeš are this year’s winners of the 2016 Dražen Petrović award decided by the Croatian Olympic Committee, Croatian Sport’s Journalists’ Association and the Croatian Olympic club.
Matić (20) was named the best young female sportsperson in 2016. The 20-year-old won the World Junior Judo Championships in 2015 and was a runner-up at the European Championships in the U-78 category.
Rodeš picks up the best young male sportsperson in 2016 award after becoming the first Croatian to win the World Junior Alpine Skiing Championships earlier this year in Russia. The 20-year-old from Varaždin in Croatia also finished 3rd in the Alpine combination at the event.
“It is a great honour to win the ‘Dražen Petrović’ award and I hope that my future resuts can justify this faith shown in me,” Rodeš said.
The award for the best female junior team went to the Croatian judo team. The team, which includes Matea Brletić, Lara Cvjetko, Iva Oberan, Lara Kliba, Lucija Babić, Anđela Violić, Helena Vuković, Lorena Štengl and Matea Behin, finished third at the European Championships in Finland this year.
The Croatian U-18 handball team, which won silver at this year’s European Championship, picked up the best male junior team award. That side was; Ivan Panjan, Mateo Radočaj, Leon Strbad, Tomislav Špruk, Filip Turčić, Dario Raguž, Adrian Miličević, Nikola Grahovac, Halil Jaganjac, Josip Šarac, Daniel Vusić, Tin Lučin, Ivan Koncul, Vito Bahtijarević, Ivan Martinović, Filip Curiš, Ivan Ereš and Anthony Jurman.
Bowls pair Ivan Čorić and Mateo Načinović were named best sporting pair, whilst 16-year-old world junior karate champion Jelena Pehar and European junior shooting champion Luka Štrbenac were named most promising Croatian sportspeople of the year.
The winners will receive their awards at a ceremony on 10 September 2016 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb. International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach will be a guest at the awards.
Previous winners of the awards include double gold medalist discus thrower Sandra Perković in 2009 and Olympic boxing medalist from Rio Filip Hrgović in 2010.