For its population size, which is just over 4 million, Croatia definitely punches above its weight in the world sporting arena…
2015 was another successful year for Croatian sportspeople with a number of titles and medals won. We have selected our Top 5 individuals for the year.
Top 5 Croatian Sports Performances in 2015:
5. Damir Martin – Rowing – Gold European Championships & European Record
Damir Martin won the gold medal in the Men’s Single Sculls competition at the European Rowing Championships in Poland earlier this year. Martin won the final in a time of 6:41.65, setting a new European Championship record for the event. The 26-year-old from Vukovar lead from start to finish to beat Czech Republic’s Ondreja Syneka who finished in second place with a time of 6:46.40.
4. Ivan Dodig – Tennis – French Open Doubles Title
In May Ivan Dodig become the first Croatian men’s tennis player to win a Grand Slam title at Roland Garros. Dodig, and his Brazilian partner Marcelo Melo, were too good for the world number 1 Bryan brothers, winning 6-7, 7-6, 7-5, to give the pair their first ever Grand Slam title.
3. Ivan Rakitić – Football – UEFA Champions League & FIFA World Club Cup winner
Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitić had another fantastic year. In 2015 Ivan was named Croatian Sportsperson of the Year after he won the UEFA Champions League, after scoring in the final, as well as the FIFA World Club Cup in Japan in December.
2. Filip Hrgović – Boxing – European Super Heavyweight Champion
Boxer Filip Hrgović won gold at the European championship in Bulgaria in August. Hrgović beat German Florian Schulz to become the European super heavyweight champion. The 23-year-old from Zagreb became the second Croat to win a European boxing title and the first Croat to win gold since Mate Parlov, who won gold in 1971 and 1973.
1. Valent & Martin Sinković – Rowing – World Champions
What a year 2015 was for the Sinković brothers. Valent and Martin claimed the overall 2015 World Men’s Double Sculls Rowing Cup after winning the Men’s Double Sculls Final A at the 2015 World Rowing Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland. They are also the first Men’s Double Sculls rowers to go under six minutes over 2,000 metres in the history of the sport, breaking the old World Record by 4 seconds with a time of 5:59.72. Valent and Martin also finished 1st and 2nd respectively in the prestigious SilverSkiff trophy.