Srbić against Ude and Seligman in the CRO-GYM league

From Saturday, August 29th, the Croatian Gymnastics Federation is starting a new competition format at the Sokol Center Osijek.

At a time when the whole sport has stopped due to the COVID-19 world pandemic, and Croatian gymnasts have not had a single competition for months, the Croatian Men’s Artistics Gymnastics Technical Committee designed the CRO-GYM league to restore the lost competitive rhythm to senior and junior national teams.

– Unfortunately, this situation with the virus forced the boys to be in the gym, but without competition. That’s why the Technical Committee decided we need to start a league competition system. From Saturday we start with the first round of three competitions. If they prove to be a winning combination, if the guys want more competitions, we will try to provide them with another round and thus further motivate them. We tried to make the format more interesting so that, for example, Tin Srbić will fight Filip Ude and Robert Seligman on pommel  horse or Aurel Benović on floor. We found a model by which we can measure their scores on different apparatuses, but in the same value – explains Mario Vukoja, VP of Croatian Gymnastics Federation and a member of the Technical Committee of the Federation.

After Osijek, the CRO-GYM league moves on September 5th to NGC Aton in Nedelišće, and then on October 17th to SC Lučko in Zagreb.

– At each competition, the gymnasts have podium training, draw of lots, all exercises are judged by the 11 best Croatian judges… The best gymnasts gets 30 points, the second 25, the third 20 and so on to 6th place. We have about 20 seniors registered for Osijek, which is a great number that shows that everyone wanted to compete. After 3 competitions, the points are added up and the overall winner will be announced. As far as the epidemiological situation is concerned, I think that we, as the Federation, adhere to more than the prescribed recommendations of the Croatian National Institute of Public Health and the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia. After each training, the hall is disinfected, ventilated, body temperature is measured for all participants, all are provided with protective masks, disinfectants…

The best Croatian gymnasts still hope that the CRO-GYM league will be a preparation for the European Championship, which, despite the epidemiological situation, is still on the calendar and should be held in Baku (AZE) in December. Mario Vukoja is a member of the Technical Committee of the European Union of Gymnastics. Is there any news on this topic?

– We, as a professionals in the European Union of Gymnastics, want this EC to take place. We will have a conference call today where we will discuss the current situation, and the final decision will be on September 28th. Unfortunately, the situation is so unpredictable that we don’t know if everything will escalate or calm down. That is why the UEG is delaying the final decision, even though Azerbaijan is ready to organize the competition. The epidemiological situation will ultimately decide whether there will be an EC or not this year – Vukoja revealed.

Photo: Renato Brađolica