Đerek: I feel great in Osijek
Sokol Centar in Osijek is not only a place where a large number of sports amateurs can exercise but also a top sports center where top-level gymnasts from Croatia and also the world have started to come to train. Ana Đerek, a Croatian gymnast from Split was a guest this week in the Sokol Centar.
Ana, we are at the beginning of 2019 and another competition season is ahead of you. What are your plans for this year?
2019 is the year before the Olympic Games so it is a very important year for every athlete. There are a lot of competitions including the World Cups, the European and the World Championship. The main priority is the World Championship since it is also the qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
You have been in Osijek several times and you are a regular participant of the DOBRO World Cup in Osijek. It is known that the members of the Croatian national team really enjoy performing in front of a home audience. Is it the same for you?
Of course, it is. I think I have already been here for a dozen times since I started to come here when I still was not a senior and used to perform non competitively in Osijek. It is a wonderful experience and I love to come here, it is one of my favorite competitions.
We hope that you will return to Osijek in May for the World Challenge Cup. What can your fans look forward to, is it one of your priorities to win a medal?
A medal in Osijek, i.e. a medal won in front of a home audience is one of my unfulfilled goals and definitely my great wish. There is still a lot of time until May. Last year I planned to achieve this goal, but I suffered an injury. If all goes well I hope I will come in May and that that will be a useful practice for me. If this happens, I would be thrilled to stand on the winning podium.
These are your first preparations in the Sokol Centar and you are staying here for a week. What are your impressions about this venue? When can we expect you to come back again?
The impressions are phenomenal. There is nothing I would change, no flaws. Everybody keeps telling me to ask if I need anything. One single flaw was a measure for the Vault which they did not have but they got it in two hours. And when will I come back again… There are a few competitions now in Baku and Doha. Those are all distant travels. Perhaps before or after the European Championship. I will certainly come in May and then I will surely come more often in the summer when there will be a few months of only training. I invite all top gymnasts in the Sokol Centar. They will not lack anything, everything is in one place and the conditions are extremely good.