99 days till Euros, 2021 – Zagreb, Croatia and some news

Hello figure skating world,

Long time no see, eh?

Who could have though that Junior Worlds in Estonia would end up being the last major competition in 2019/2020 season? Still, a lot has happened. We live in a very different world than the one Euros in Graz took place another one in Tallinn, Estonia where the top juniors had their last opportunity this year to compete.

I really hope you are all taking care of yourselves and are being responsible towards your communities.

Here are some good news from Croatia regarding figure skating.

European Figure skating Championships will hopefully, be taking place in less than 100 days in Zagreb, Croatia more specifically, the event is scheduled to take place from the 25th till 31sth of January in Arena Zagreb. Those of you who follow diligently Croatian skating news, will immediately see that Dom Sportova is not being used for the event and there could be several reasons for this decision.

Croatian Skating Federation has been trying to get to host World Figure Skating Championships for many years now and one of the obstacles was the capacity and conditions that Dom Sportova arena can offer. This facility was built in 1972 and has only been renovate once, prior 1987 Universiade.

It is very likely Dom Sportova will have to be very thoroughly renovated in the near future as on early Sunday morning of March 22nd an earthquake of magnitude of 5.5 Ml hit Zagreb.

You can click on the following link to see what this natural disaster has done to my hometown. Many people lost their homes, many were injured and a 15 year old girl has lost her life. Zagreb will take many years to rebuild itself as the old downtown was very seriously damaged.

I would like to use this opportunity to thank many of my contacts and friends from figure skating community who have reached out to check on me on that very scary morning and in the following days.

From the official documentation, Dom Sportova can be used for sports activities, but not in its full capacity, as some areas are not well connected and they will need further inspection.

The tickets are not yet available for sale as the ISU and Croatian Skating federation are looking into what the situation with COVID19 is going to be like in the following weeks and next information will be available after November 1st. You can write to Croatian Skating Federation regarding tickets tickets@croskate.hr

There are no updates on what the situation is with the Golden Spin of Zagreb. The event is in the ISU calendar for Challenger series and set to take place from 2nd till 5th of December.

The situation with Covid19 cases is getting worse in Croatia, especially in Zagreb and the governing bodies are enforcing new restrictions every week. Football matches took place in open air stadions with limited audience. It remains to be seen how an event in a closed sports facility will take place in December.

Honestly speaking, given that very often the author of this website has been the only spectator at the Golden Spin, excluding team members and staff, there should not be problems holding the event if the borders are not closed and quarantine mandatory for certain countries. Social distance could be provided, but this is simply an observation from a figure skating enthusiast. Maybe these circumstances will finally motivate the right people for the proper live stream to be provided to this long lasting event that was only not held one year – in 1991 when Croatian War of independence was tearing Croatia apart.

There are currently no news about World Synchronized Skating Championships that is to take place in Zagreb in April, 2021.

In other news, Jari Kessler is now representing Croatia. Former Italian representative, is now included on the list of registered Figure Skaters in Croatia for season 2020/2021 as a senior man competitor together with Charles Katanović. Both Katanović and Kessler are listed as representing Skating Club Leda, Zagreb.

Kessler has competed at Budapest Trophy (part of the ISU Challenger series) this week where he placed 7th with total of 176.13 points. Hana Cvijanović was also scheduled to compete but withdrew from the competition.

You can follow Jari on social media. He seems to be very active on his Instagram account

Morana Paliković Gruden has been confirmed for another four year term as president of Croatian Skating Federation on Annual Assembly that took place on 22nd of September. This was not a surprising decision for the Federation. Paliković Gruden is the second most powerful person in Croatian Olympic Committee and holds the highest position in this organization for Winter sports.

Press Conference Summary Report- Panorama hotel, Zagreb, Croatia – Monday, March 4th 2019

On Monday, March 4th Press conference announcing the World Junior Figure Skating Championships took place. This Championship is taking place in Dom Sportova arena from Wednesday, March 6th till Saturday, March 9th 2019 and there are more than 180 skaters from 44 countries arriving to compete. Croatian representatives, Hana Cvijanović and Charles Henry Katanović gave their statements to the journalists gathered at Panorama Hotel in Zagreb.

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Junior Worlds, but most recently she was in Minsk, Belarus at her first European Championships.

“While I cannot predict the results or if I will make it to the long program, I believe I have improved in the past two years that I have been competing at junior championships. I want to perform the best I can and qualifying to the long program would make me incredibly happy.”

Eighteen year old Charles Henry Katanović  competed for Croatia at Junior World Championships last year in Sofia, Bulgaria where he placed 47th.

 “For the last two weeks after my last competition, I have been working and training very hard we shall see what will come out of that. Hopefully, I will be able to execute what I have been training so even if I do not make it to the long program, It will not be too bad.”

The president of Croatian skating federation, Morana Paliković Gruden:

“After 20 years, Zagreb was again given the honor to host Championships where the best juniors will compete for the last time this season. There are many young new hopes as well as defending champions. Today, these Championships are almost as exciting and fierce competition as (senior) World Figure Skating Championships. “

Paliković also added that:

“Russian Federation is sending defending champion Alexandra Trusova and winner of European Youth Olympic Winter Festival, Anna Shcherbakova. (…)

In Mens competition, winner of the Grand Prix Final Stephen Gogolev from Canada will be challenging defending champion Alexei Erokhov of Russia, while Italian Daniel Grassl is also in great shape. (…)

We are immensely proud of our competitors, Hana and Charles Henry. For many years, Croatia did not have representatives at Junior World Championships and for me, this is the sign of the rise of figure skating in Croatia.

Coach Ivana Jakupčević Marinković:

“We begun the season with Junior Grand Prix competitions with both Cvijanovic and Katanović and both have shown progress with their programs. For the past few weeks, Cvijanović was training in Russia and Charles Henry in France. They are both well prepared and what we expect from them are well skated short programs, results are up for the judges.”

 

Tickets for the event are available at Dom Sportova ticket shop as well as online via this link.

The schedule is available at this link.

Update – Golden Spin of Zagreb 2018, Day 1

Some  bad news.

All three Croatian junior representatives have withdrawn from the event. 

Katarina Kitarović has been dealing with a back injury for several months, but her coach Ivana Jakupčević Marinković has told Večernji list that she is sure this is not the end of season for Kitarović.

Hana Kosić has withdraw hours before short program. Unofficial sources say, Kosić is dealing with a knee injury.

Right before junior men’s long program, another Croatian representative Charles Henry Katanović has withdrawn from the event due to illness.

Hopefully  Katarina, Hana and Charles Henry all get better soon and are ready to compete at Junior World Championships that are taking place in Zagreb in March 2019.

Press conference, Dec 4th 2018

Some highlights from the press conference that took place yesterday, Dec 4th in Dom sportova arena.

There will be overall six skaters representing Croatia at the event.

Pairs

Lana Petranović i Antonio Souza Kordeiru

Ladies 

Hana Cvijanović

Patricija Skopančić

Junior Ladies 

Hana Kosić

Junior Men

Charles Henry Katanović

  • This shows a slight inconsistency with earlier reports and still current entries on the official website of the event.  As of 5th of Dec, junior lady, Katarina Kitarović is still listed on the entry list but was not mentioned as a competitor at the press conference or in the press release. The seventeen-year-old Kitarović is the daughter of President of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar Kitarović so it could be that this was done for privacy reasons. She has competed last year at the junior version of Golden spin and placed in solid 9th place, but according to her ISU biography, in 2018 she has only competed at Dragon trophy, Ljubljana, Slovenia in early February.
  • Croatian pair team was at the press conference and have shown off some of their elements. Petranović updated the press about their preparations that took place in Moscow and how the team has integrated a throw triple loop into their programs.
  • Press was also informed how Hana Cvijanović competed at Christmas Cup in Budapest the prior week and there she managed to achieve TES minimum for European Championships (that are taking place in Minsk, Belarus in January 2019).
  • Tickets can be purchased on online ticket shop or at Dom sportova arena, 20 kuna for a daily ticket, 50 kunas for the family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 kids). For the Gala, the tickets are 50 kunas each.
  • On Dec 6th the entry for the event will be free of charge, as it is Day of sports facility of the city of Zagreb.
  • Overall, there will be 175 competitors from 38 countries competing at the event.
  • Schedule of the event can be found here.