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Croatian national team members ready to conquer the sports arena Gradski vrt! Benović: It is an honor to compete here with legends like Dragulescu

  • 10 June, 2021./ News

The gymnastics spectacle in Osijek can begin! Everything is ready for the 12th edition of the DOBRO World Cup in gymnastics, which will host 140 athletes from 31 countries from Wednesday to Sunday (June 10-13) in the sports arena Gradski vrt.

„We have some more small details to finish, but in general everything is ready, most teams came, stayed in hotels, accredited, passed all our COVID procedures that we received from the FIG and all those epidemiological measures that are currently mandatory in Republic of Croatia. The sports arena and the whole production is 99% ready. We are all looking forward to the start of the competition. The figure of 31 countries is one of the best in terms of attendance at gymnastics competitions in the world this year. 140 competitors are coming. We also have a lot of those who are interested in winning medals at the Olympic Games because Osijek is the last international stage in the preparations for the Olympics in Tokyo, so the competition will be very interesting for Tina, Aurel, Jakov, Filip Ude, our girls… It will be very interesting to follow the outcome of this competition. However, we as the Croatian national team also expect a lot from the DOBRO World Cup. It is no secret that we are expecting medals, and all our national team members will want to give their best at home“, announced the director of the competition and vice president of the Croatian Gymnastics Association, Vladimir Mađarević.

Let us remind that Croatia has won as many as 30 medals in Osijek since 2009.

At this year’s tournament, the Croatian national team will consist of Tin Srbić (Horizontal bar) Aurel Benović (Floor and the Vault), Filip Ude (Pommel horse), Jakov Vlahek (Pommel horse), Filip Boroša (Floor), Ana Đerek (Floor and Balance beam) , Tijana Korent (Vault), Christina Zwicker (Balance beam and Uneven bars) and Sara Šulekić (Uneven bars).

All of them attended the last press conference today before the start of tomorrow’s competition. On Thursday at 3 pm, Benović and Boroša on the Floor, Ude and Vlahek on the Pommel horse, Korent on the Vault and Zwicker and Šulekić on the Uneven bars will be in the qualifications. On Friday, Srbić will be hunting the finals on the Horizontal bar, Benović on the Vault, Zwicker on the Balance beam and Đerek on the Balance beam and Floor.

Tin Srbić (gold in Osijek 2017 and 2018, bronze 2016):
„I am ready for my last test before going to the Olympics in Tokyo. I’m in great shape, we’re training great. If I have to go to the Olympics tomorrow, I’m ready! Osijek will be a simulation of Tokyo for me, an exercise that I will do here, 6.2, I will also do in Tokyo. I hope to qualify for the finals so that I can try out the 6.5 exercise we are training to be ready for the Tokyo finals which I hope. I didn’t watch the competition here. There are no „strongest“ who will be in Tokyo. There is last year’s European champion Tvorogal, but I do not see this “defeat” in Mersin as something big since I did not consider the EC very important given the whole epidemiological situation, the number of countries that came and the judging there. I don’t bother with that. I know I’m better than him. I’m not saying he’ll never beat me, because I can make a mistakes too, but if we both do the exercises, I’ll always be better than him. He’s definitely a big competitor, he does great exercises, but I repeat, if we both do ours best, I’m realistically better. I have had back problems for a long time, it has been worse in recent weeks, but it is getting better. Yesterday I did exercise 6.2. I didn’t think it would go this much better, but it is.“

Aurel Benović:
„I have no pressure preforming in my city. I’m sorry that there will be no audience in the sports arena this year, but I hope that as early as next year, the fans will be with us again in the Gradski vrt. I expect a good performance, I am sure that none of us members of the Croatian national team will let down all those who will watch us on small screens thanks to the broadcast of Croatian television. I am happy that I won gold at the World Cup in Varna ten days ago with my strongest exercise. I hope that I will be able to do the same in Osijek. I didn’t study the competition, I just heard it is going to be strong, like every year. I was happy when I heard that Artem Dolgopyat had come, I look forward to meeting him again. He beat me at the EC last year, but I beat him now in Varna. We will see how it will be in Osijek. The legendary Marian Dragulescu is also here, I am honored to perform with him. He is a gymnastic icon. Great on the Floor and on the Vault. Still, at 41, he shows that on the Vault he can still perform great acrobatics and hard elements. I will also perform on the Vault and I will be honored to stand next to him.“

Filip Ude (gold in Osijek 2014, bronze 2010 and 2013):
„In one hand I am not ready, but in the other I am ready. I’m not in the shape I wanted to be in, due to a shoulder injury, but the last 2 weeks I’ve done my best to make it OK. We are already used to Osijek being our competition, that our people can see us there and I am glad that it is like that. I hope that one day a World or European championship will come to Croatia. I haven’t studied the competition in Osijek, I never do that, I don’t fight with anyone, it’s not martial arts or some contact team sport. This is more of a mental sport. If you don’t beat yourself up, unfortunately, you won’t beat anyone.“

Ana Đerek (gold in Osijek 2019):
„For me, this is the last competition before going to the Olympics in Tokyo, which is only a few weeks away, so I am in good shape. I’ve been doing my best in training lately, because Tokyo is close, but also because this World Cup means the most to me. I trained well, and I hope that the results will show that. About 10 days ago we were at the World Cup in Varna, I competed for 4 days, I won 2 finals, I know physically that I am in shape, but you know how it is in sports, it takes a little luck to get to the finals, and then whatever happens. . I had a small accident before coming here, I traveled from Split to Osijek for 2 days. Namely, before Zagreb, the tire on our car burst. Fortunately, neither I nor coach Miroslav Končarević had not been injured. But we had to wait for the towing service, then they took us to the service station, but they didn’t have tires…My coach is still in Zagreb waiting for the tires, and I came to Osijek with the Zagreb team. But nothing can disrupt me before the performance. It wasn’t that scary. I’m more sorry we’re going to perform without spectators this year. Audience is the No. 1 favorite thing of this World Cup. They are something special. But everything is going in the good direction and I hope that we will return to „normal life“ soon.“

Tijana Korent (silver in Osijek 2009, bronze 2010):
„Considering that I missed the finals in Varna by 0.001 points 10 days ago, which is partly discouraging, I hope that I will make up for that crumb in this competition and that I will compete in the finals on Saturday. I have silver and bronze from Osijek and it would be nice to completing medals… But given the competition here, it’s going to be hard. Although, when you’re in the finals, there’s always that factor that we all often forget, and that’s luck. It’s not all about training. We can be in great shape, but if just a little bit of luck is missing, it doesn’t have to turn out well.”

Christina Zwicker:
„I’m ready. I don’t have too many goals in terms of results, just to do both exercises the way I know, the way I do it on the training. The competition here, thank God, is very strong. However, the Olympic games are coming soon and everyone came here, and there is always a perfect organization, hall, everything, so it is clear to me why all the best always come to Osijek. Simply, everyone here feels perfect.“

Sara Šulekić:
„I do not have any additional anxiety because this is my premiere in Osijek. Although I am still a junior by age, this will be my third competition in a row among the “big girls” and I am slowly adjusting. I hope that I will be able to perform my exercise the way we do in training, and that is the only thing that matters to me here for the first time.“

Jakov Vlahek:
“Just three days ago, I landed from Egypt, where I won silver at the World Cup in Cairo, but honestly, I’m not tired. I have been waiting for five years to get the opportunity to perform in Osijek and I am really happy to be here. I hope to be able to repeat the good performances from Cairo.“

Filip Boroša:
„First of all, it is a great honor for me to be part of the Croatian national team in Osijek and to have the opportunity to perform here for the first time. I am sure that each of us on the team will do our best not to disappoint and to justify our colors.“

The ceremonial opening of the competition is on the program on Saturday at 12.45, and both final days live broadcasts from Osijek will be available on HRT 2.

Follow the Livescore results at the link

All information about the DOBRO World Cup can be found at the link

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