Croatian Long Course Championships: Zeljana Knezevic Wins Difficult Double

RIJEKA, Croatia, July 13. ZELJANA Knezevic won both the women's 100m fly and 400m IM in back-to-back events Friday night to highlight the second day of finals at the Croatian Long Course Championships.

Sanja Jovanovic brought home the first gold medal of the night, winning the women's 50m free in 26.21, ahead of Andrijana Bencic (26.47) and Monika Babok (26.52). Mario Todorovic topped the men's race with the only sub-23 showing, a 22.86. Hrvoje Grubisic came in second at 23.21, just a hair in front of Ivan Levaj's 23.22.

In the women's 50m breast, Lana Dragojevic led the championship final with a sub-33 performance of 32.62, good enough for first place. Gabrijela Korac separated herself from the field for second in 33.02, while Smiljana Marinovic wound up third in 33.39. The men's race came down to the final touch, as Ivan Duran narrowly defeated Sasa Gerbec, 28.63 to 28.64. Ante Krizan placed third in 28.80.

Ana Grgic just missed breaking the junior record in the women's 200m back, but her time of 2:17.99 still topped the rest of the field by about a second. Matea Samardzic finished second in 2:18.98, with Mabel Sulic in a distant third at 2:22.28. Marko Krce-Rabar led the men's 200m back from start to finish, winning in a time of 2:02.10. Teo Kolonic placed second in 2:03.46, just holding off Mateo Muzek, who touched in 2:03.49.

In the women's 100m fly, Zeljana Knezevic turned in a time of 1:02.26 for the victory, while Andrijana Bencic picked up another medal this evening with a silver medal winning time of 1:02.70. Katarina Rados placed third in 1:03.99. In the men's race, Dominik Straga won by a landslide with the only time under 55 or 54; he finished in 53.71. Mihael Vukic swam a 55.03 for second, while Niksa Roki earned bronze with a 55.09.

Zeljana Knezevic pulled a difficult double, returning to win the next event, the women's 400m IM, in 5:02.77. Ana Matkovic earned silver in 5:05.65, with Doris Beros picking up bronze in 5:12.71. Niksa Roki, also just out of the men's 100m fly, turned in a solid outing in the men's distance medley, hanging on for the slim victory over Fran Krznaric, 4:29.74 to 4:29.81. Sasa Impric collected a bronze medal with a time of 4:34.61.

In relay action, Sanja Jovanovic, Smiljana Marinovic, Zeljana Knezevic and Ana Matkovic established a new record of 4:15.93 in the women's 4x100m medley relay. Teo Kolonic, Matej Maras, Dominik Straga and Mislav Sever collected the men's title in 3:45.43.