Tin Srbic brings high bar glory to Croatia

Srbic.JPG

Tin Srbic brings high bar glory to Croatia

October 12, 2017

At last week’s World Championships in Montreal (CAN) Tin Srbic wrote history when he clinched Croatia’s first World title

Earlier this year, the 21-year-old gymnast from the Croatian capital Zagreb had claimed victory at the World Cup stage in Osijek, in front of his family and countrymen. He then said that reaching the high bar final in Montreal and winning a medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics were his ambitions. Last week in Montreal, Srbic posted the third highest score in qualification, advancing easily to the final. On Sunday, some of the world’s best high bar workers battled for the gold medal, including 2012 Olympic Champion Epke Zonderland (NED), reigning European Champion Pablo Braegger (SUI) and Japanes rising star Hidetaka Miyachi.  Srbic of course didn’t watch his rivals perform, focusing on his own routine: “I wasn’t looking but when I came up to prepare for my routine, I had a quick look up to see if the Japanese guy got the score. And I saw all the scores. 14.233 I know I can get it. I know I can do that, I can get 14.5, 14.6 so I was like ok, just calm down. Do everything like you know.” For many gymnasts this would put extra pressure on them but Srbic took it in his stride: “It did [add pressure] for a second but I took a deep breath. I don’t know what I was doing, I did just like in training. Like a robot. In the air I thought ‘just stick it, stick it!’ It’s amazing. The best routine I ever did in competition and it was in the world championships final.” Srbic hoped for a medal: “I know this routine can get from 14.200 to 14.600 so I don’t know what it will be. I don’t know what the judges will do. So I thought just give me 14.100 so I can get a medal. I wasn’t thinking about the gold at all. Then I saw 14,433, 2 tenths more, and I was so happy. It was amazing.”

His compatriots have won medals at the World Championships and the Olympic Games before, but never gold. So instead of just making the high bar final, Srbic returns home with the first world title for Croatia! “I still don’t know what happened. It’s an amazing feeling right now. I hope it will be even better tomorrow after a sleep, when I realise what I did. It’s amazing.”

Not surprisingly, his hero is his teammate Marijo Moznik, the 2015 European Champion on high bar!

Srbic hopes that his performance will have a positive influence on gymnastics in Croatia: “The medals from Filip Ude, from Marijo Moznik, the European title and the World silver and bronze medals, they raised the popularity of gymnastics in Croatia. I hope this will raise it even more. We have only 1 gym in Croatia that is good enough to do all this stuff. I train in a gym that doesn’t have a pit for high bar. I learn elements with hard landings. I hope the city of Zagreb will see this and make a new gym for us so we can do more things.”