For the first time in history, Croatia is hosting the European Deaf Handball Championship, which is being held in Zagreb from June 18 to 27.
Croatia, looking for their 7th medal at the Euros, made a convincing start at the opening of the European Championship, defeating Turkey 33:12.
Croatia’s top scorers were Tomislav Bošnjak and Bojan Crnojević with 5 goals each, while Mateo Perak was named the player of the match.
Florijan Kolarić, Ilija Perak, Oliver Lušić, Pero Jukić, Jakov Kolarić, Leonardo Vučak, To Glumac, Ivan Pajić and Vedran Jakovljević also scored goals.
“First of all, I would like to thank the Croatian Sports Association of the Deaf for managing to organise the European Championship – it is already a gold medal. We prepared well, this first game was very good. We beat them practically in the first 15 minutes of the first half and then the difference only increased. Everyone got a chance to play, everyone contributed to that victory and it is certainly a great victory because Turkey has always been a fierce and dangerous opponent,” said Mario Sirotić, selector of the Croatian deaf handball team.
“I would like to thank my teammates because without them I would not have received this award. Congratulations to the opponents on a good game and fighting spirit, and I expect that we will be even better in the future game. The next opponents are the French, with whom we last played in 2014, so we are not familiar with their game, but we must not underestimate anyone. We will do our best and I hope it will be a good match,” said Mateo Perak, the player of the match.
In the second match of the day, Russia defeated Serbia 30:29. The competition takes place according to a circular point system in which each national team plays against each other and achieves two points for victory, one point for a draw and zero points for defeat.
On Sunday, Turkey faces Serbia and France and Croatia meet.
The Croatian men’s deaf handball team s one of the most trophy-winning sports teams in Croatia, having won 7 Olympic medals, of which 4 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze. At the European Championships they have 4 golds and one silver and one bronze, while at the World Championships they have won 2 golds.