The following Croatian national team members took part in the press conference held on the occasion of the World Cup in gymnastics: Aurel Benović, Tin Srbić, Filip Ude, Jakov Vlahek, Marko Jovičić, Tijana Korent, Christina Zwicker, Tina Zelčić and Sara Šulekić.
The spectacular 14th edition of the FIG World Challenge Cup in Gymnastics – DOBRO World Cup Osijek, is ready for its competitive start. Although the Slavonian metropolis has already been “occupied” by gymnasts from all over the world since Monday, after two days of podium training, the official qualifications will start tomorrow, which, like the entire event, will attract numerous visitors and lovers of the interesting, fun and dramatic sport of gymnastics. On this occasion, a press conference was held today in the Gradski vrt hall, in order for the organizers to emphasize the importance of the event and present the entire program of it.
The press conference was attended by the sports director of the competition, Vladimir Mađarević, and the Croatian national team members: Aurel Benović, Tin Srbić, Filip Ude, Jakov Vlahek, Marko Jovičić, Tijana Korent, Christina Zwicker, Tina Zelčić and Sara Šulekić who, from the perspective of professional athletes and competitors, emphasized the importance of the World Cup and their own expectations from it.
“After the National Championship in Osijek, which we held last weekend, the DOBRO World Cup will follow which is one of our favorite competitions. My qualifications are scheduled for Friday. Personally, I don’t have a high expectations in terms of results, because I know that that I’m in good shape and that I can perform all the new exercises I do. But, honestly, I’m a little tired. I don’t think I’ve ever had so many competitions in this first part of the season, and I also won the European gold… I don’t have any physical problems, mentally I know I can perform the exercise here too, I just need a little adrenaline in the qualifications to feel the hall. I will not go easy, but in the qualifications I will do a new, more difficult exercise, initial grades 6.0, with the “Stalder-Rybalko” element, perhaps the hardest element I have ever learned. In the final, I will do an even more difficult exercise, I will put everything I know into the exercise. For me, this is a kind of start of preparations for the Olympic qualifications and I have to take risks with the strongest exercises” – said Tin Srbić, winner of the Olympic silver medal on the parallel bars, current European champion and three-time winner of DOBRO World Cup in Osijek.
“I’m ready, I’ve trained well, I’ve prepared well and I’m happy to be here again in front of national audience. My only goal is forme to be satisfied with my performance first, whether it’s the final or not, it’s important that I’m satisfied. I will try to do the best I can in my exercise from start to finish. I’m happy to still be competitive for medals. I hope that tomorrow everything will be according to plan” – said Filip Ude, winner of the Olympic and world silver medal on pommel horse.
“Even though it’s challenging to perform in front of a local audience in my own city, I can’t wait for tomorrow’s performance on the floor. An additional challenge is that last year I won gold on the floor, I raised the bar very high and it will not be easy to do it again. I will do my best to get to the final, and I am always competitive there for medals. This year I will perform again both on floor and vault, I have my hands full on both qualifying days, but I hope to have work on Saturday and Sunday in the finals as well. I did a great job last weekend at National championship on both apparatuses and I wouldn’t mind repeating same results at the World Cup. My health is not the best, I have a lot of colds, but I’m training, my form is still at a high level and I believe that these health problems will not bother me when I perform” – said Aurel Benović, winner of the European silver medal and last year’s winner of the DOBRO World Cup on the floor
“I’m glad that I was able to come to Osijek one more year and represent Croatia at this competition, which is always at the highest level and one of the favorite competitions I’ve ever participated in. A large number of countries came and it’s a really strong World Cup compared to some others from the FIG World Federation calendar. I hope that tomorrow in the qualifications I will perform at my best and that I will be able to enter the final. After the gold medal two weeks ago at World Cup in Varna, I can’t promise to repeat the same here. This gold partly creates pressure for me, because I know that I am expected to repeat something similar. But we all came here to get medals, we all came to win something, not just me. I can only hope for the best” – said Tijana Korent, the best member of the Croatian national team in vault.
Tomorrow, the first qualifying day starts at 15:00, and from the Croatian national team, Aurel Benović and Marko Jovičić will perform on floor, Filip Ude and Jakov Vlahek on pommel horse, Tijana Korent on vault and Christina Zwicker and Sara Šulekić on uneven bars. Benović on the vault, Tin Srbić on the high bar and Zwicker and Tina Zelčić on the balance beam will be competing for the finals on Friday from 15:00.
In addition to the sports part of the competition, Osijek should have offered visitors numerous entertainment such as: Feelgood Weekend, gastro-wine-music festival and others with the aim of making everyone feel really good in the Slavonic metropolis. However, due to bad weather forecasts, this part of the World Cup had to be postponed to August.
“We are ready for tomorrow’s competitive start of the DOBRO World Cup. All competitions start at 15:00. Unfortunately, the Feelgood Weekend, which was supposed to take place on Friday and Saturday in the Petar Krešimir IV Park, has been postponed to the summer, to August 25 and 26, since the forecast for this weekend is rainy. As for our national team, last year they won an incredible 5 medals, three gold and two silver, and it will be interesting to see if they can achieve that again. Olympic, world and European medalists have come to Osijek and we expect a great competition” – said Vladimir Mađarević, sports director of the DOBRO World Cup
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