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Historic Running Gold for Croatia at 2017 European Junior Athletics Champs

Marino Bloudek (Photo: has.hr)

Marino Bloudek has won a historic gold medal for Croatia at the European Junior Athletics Championships in Grosseto, Italy.

Bloudek won gold in the 800 m with a time of 1:48.70. It was the first ever middle-distance medal for Croatia in the history of the European Junior Championships.

Nobody expected the Virovitica-born runner to claim gold but an impressive run which saw him lead for most of the race gave him an upset victory over the favourite Mark Lonsdale from the UK on the final day of the championships.

Before running, Bloudek was a promising football player. He had received invitations to join both Arsenal and Dinamo Zagreb Academies but had to turn them down after breaking his leg.

Two years ago the high-school student won gold at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Georgia.

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