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Member Blog: Miren Ivankovic and son win at Croatian World Games

mirenBy Miren Ivankovic
This past July, my son Sven and I, Miren Ivankovic, had the opportunity to travel to my native Croatia in order to participate in the Croatian World Games (CWG). Games were held in the city of Zadar, located on the Adriatic Coast.

CWG brings together all of the Croatians from around the World to participate in a number of sporting events and to spend time together in their native country. We met people from all different parts of the world and some of them were related to Croatia via their great-grandparents.  This is games’ second edition, and CWG committee hopes to have it every four years. Number of sports is offered, and Sven and I participated in tennis.

Tennis tournament took place at the beautiful clay courts at TC Zadar. Three categories were available, men’s open (singles and doubles), men’s 35 and up (singles and doubles) and ladies open. Each male category gathered about twenty players.  Both groups played in a round-robin format first and then top finishers were placed in a single elimination draw. In doubles, there was just a single draw.

In Sven’s draw, players came from different countries, but it was obvious from the beginning that another player from the US, lives in New York City, is very competitive as well as several South American players. Sven battled well through early rounds and made it into a single elimination draw, where he defeated a player from Monte Negro, then Argentina and finally a fellow from New York City. He felt comfortable on orange clay and played well. In my draw, I pretty much followed Sven’s success by beating people from Switzerland, Denmark, Monte Negro, and Monte Negro again in the finals. Final was pretty competitive, and I was very happy to come out on the top.

In doubles, Sven played with his fellow countryman, while my partner was from Denmark. Two US players represented US well. They won the tourney and played great together. In my draw, my partner and I battled well through the draw, and even in the finals against 2 players from Monte Negro, but came up just a bit short.

In conclusion, Sven earned two gold medals, while I received one gold and one silver, which were given to us at the closing ceremonies. We made some great friendships, learned about how Croatians live in different parts of the world, and truly enjoyed the city of Zadar and its surrounding areas.

These were my second and Sven’s first games. Having Sven close by, I enjoyed this games much more and hope that in 2014, both of us will participate together again.
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