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utorak, 3. svibnja 2011.

Ana Zaninović Becomes Very First Croatian World Champion In Taekwondo.

Like I've mentioned previously on this blog, my intention was for this to not be a solely sports related blog at all. Looking back  I've included more sports related additions than I had planned on. (I try to keep it as fresh and interesting about a wide variety of topics) This story though, about the twin sisters Ana and Lucija Zaninović from Split surely belonged here as soon as I read the story. Becoming a world champion is nothing to balk at, and it seems that more interesting news from them may be coming in the future come the next Summer Olympics.....

Pride of Croatian Taekwondo: Our twins are among best in the world

Celebrating becoming World Champion. 



Ana Zaninović has become the first Croatian world champion in taekwondo. Her twin sister Lucija Zaninović is the European champion, and both sisters could soon together be making a run for an Olympic medal.

Ana celebrating her victory and an historic Croatian sporting first with coach Toni Tomas.

"I believed in myself. I would be lying if I said that I wasn't thinkin about the gold," said Ana Zaninović after she became the world champion in Taekwondo. Ana is the first Croatian woman at the top of the world. In Korea, the birthplace of the martial arts of Taekwondo, the 23-year-old native of Split surprisingly beat her competition with ease.

Footage of the day's events from Croatian HRT.

Pictured together in the city of Split, sister Lucija Zaninović (left) was last year's European Champion.

- I could not have imagined that would have been this easy - said Ana, which, believe it or not, the former coach did not lead into the European Championships in 2008.

For years she was ignored by then coach Korean Hong Seung Ki, who called her mischievous and untalented.

- I never cry. But given the facts of everything I went through over the past four years, it's inevitable that a tear will fall - said our athlete.

Twin sister Lucy, who last year became the European champion, had to bow out in the quarterfinals.

-"We could easily shine at the Olympics" says Ana.

Martina Zubčić and Sandra Šarić brought our first Olympic medals

For me, this is a great achievement of the dream. I fantasized about it while I was a little girl" said Martina Zubčić after she brought the first Olympic medal for Croatia in taekwondo.

A few days after her bronze medal, Sandra Saric was awarded a medal. Both were European champions in their categories. Before them Nataša Vezmar from the city of Bjelovar, had dominated. She was also a multiple European Champion.

 Ana in action on her way to gold in her category.

Ana and her Taekwondo World Champioship gold medal.

Ana and Lucija in a promo spot for their hometown of Split "Taekwondo klub Marjan."

'I introduced the twins to isolating themselves from unimportant matters and training to prepare them for great results'

Ana was supposed to go to the 2008 Olympics, however instead Martina Zubčić went, although she ended up not getting the results she hoped for. But no matter. I introduced the twins sisters to media isolation that would track all of these injustices. They did not watch TV, they changed their cell phone numbers, they didn't go on the internet either. Separation from the daily distractions made it very worthwhile in the end. The sisters are only interested in training now, "said Toni Tomas, the current coach of the Zaninović sisters, and also the new coach of our natonal team in taekwondo.

Interview with Ana and Lucija from last year. (From HRT Croatian Television)

*Updated May 4, 2011

Marina Sumić (pictured right) was also surprisingly awarded the silver medal in her weight category shortly after Ana's victory.


Another welcome surprise from the Taekwondo World Championships in South Korea. Marina Sumić had great results at the World Championships and managed to make it tothe  final in her weight category. She lost in the final to a competitor from Thailand, but nevertheless achieved a great result in taking home the silver medal for Croatia in her category.

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