Questions, comments or suggestions? email me at:
Don't miss out a chance to win in our monthly "Croatianicity" t-shirt draw!
As well as our monthly Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic fridge magnet give away!

Monday, 28 May 2012

Croatian Handball Women Qualify For London Summer Olympics

Good news in the Croatian Women's Handball Team department, as they qualified for this summers Olympic games in London.  The women's team isn't on par with the men's team in regards to championships won, so far their best showing was a 5th at the European Championships and a 6th place finish at the World Championships.  Still though, it's still quite an accomplishment to qualify and be able to represent. Best of luck to them.

Thrilling victory for Croats against Spain




The goal difference of three teams equal in points had to decide the Women’s Olympic Qualification Tournament in Guadalajara, Spain. And Croatia was the lucky team to book their tickets for London after beating Spain 23:22 – and all players on the field could celebrate their participation under the five rings, as the host took the qualification, too, despite the defeat. On the other hand the Dutch players shed tears though they had won their last match against Argentina.

As Croatia, Spain and the Netherlands were equal with four points the goal difference in the direct duels of this trio had to decide – and in the end Spain finish first with +3 goals ahead of Croatia (0) and Netherlands (-3). This final result means that Spain and Croatia participate in London with both men’s and women’s teams.

Spain vs. Croatia 22:23 (10:12)

They had to shiver until the final second, but then the Croats jumped for joy: Thanks to this closest possible victory they secured their place at the 2012 London Olympic Games ahead of the Netherlands. With a tie in the final match, Croatia would have been out and the Dutch team would have qualified. So the pressure on Croatia was immense, but from the 5:4 on they were in lead most of the time against the host – which made their way to London despite the final defeat thanks to their clear 28:24 victory against the Netherlands on Saturday. Maja Zebic was the key to the success, as she again had been top scorer of her team with eight goals. Though the Spaniards defended strong the Croatians were able to extend the gap pre-decisively to 19:14 with only eleven minutes left. But the tournament host showed a great fighting spirit and character – and 70 seconds before the end the match was close to be turned at 20:21. But then Franic and Tatari hit the net – and decided the thriller though the Iberians scored the last goal by their top scorer Carmen Martin (nine goals).

Statements after the match:

Vladimir Canjuga, coach Croatia: I believe if we have a good day we can win against any team. Against the Netherlands the psychological factor affected us so much. We knew that Spain was tired from the match against the Netherlands and so we needed to push at the beginning to achieve a difference which was good enough in the scoreboard. Now we will have three weeks off and then we will start preparing for London.

Kristina Franic, player Croatia: I want to congratulate Spain, which tried to win like we did. If we are mentally on the right way, we can beat anyone. In the first match the pressure made us lose the match.

Jorge Dueñas, coach Spain: We knew it would be a very difficult match and at the beginning we lacked focus on attack, moreover in the positional attack. In the second half we started doubting and even had a critical moment, when Croatia was ahead with five goals. We needed more rhythm in attack and needed to take more risk to achieve the draw. But at the end we had to assure the first place.

Eli Pinedo, player Spain: The truth is that we were not fine in attack and at the end we had to sustain the score to go to London. We qualified but not in the manner we would have liked.

Featured post

And The Croatian City To Be A European Capital of Culture In 2020 Will Be...(Drum Roll).....Rijeka

Yep, I know it's still 2 years away and I already covered this topic last year when it was announced, but I added a few extra ima...