STA, 22 April 2021 - The Slovenian women's handball team has qualified for the world championship, to be held in Spain in December, by defeating Iceland in the two-match playoffs. This will be the seventh appearance for the women's team at the highest global stage.
After last Saturday's 24:14 win in Ljubljana, yesterday's match in Iceland's Hafnarfjordur was a mere formality, with Slovenia managing to eke out a 21:21 draw to easily qualify for the tournament that will be played on 2-19 December.
This will be the seventh appearance at the world championships for the team led by Montenegrin coach Dragan Adžić, with the most recent appearance being in Japan in 2019. The best result, the 8th place, came in Croatia in 2003.
STA, 17 April 2021 - Slovenian judoka Tina Trstenjak won gold at the European Judo Championships 2021 in the women's 63 kg event in Lisbon, Portugal on Saturday. She won against Russia's Daria Davydova. Fellow Slovenian judoka Andreja Leški got a bronze in the same category earlier.
Trstenjak, an Olympic champion at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro, got the better of Davydova at the end of the match after a demanding contest.
Imamo evropsko prvakinjo!!!??? Tina Trstenjak je osvojila naslov ?evropske prvakinje? v kategoriji do 63 kilogramov, to je njen že tretji naslov!??? Andreja Leški je v isti kategoriji osvojila bronasto? kolajno??? ?— Judo zveza Slovenije (@judoSLO) April 17, 2021
Več: https://t.co/ynY69WkF3e pic.twitter.com/RxzY1kK5oF
The 30-year-old already has two gold medals from the European Championships in 2017 and 2016. She was also a world champion in 2015.
Slovenia's Andreja Leški meanwhile claimed bronze in the women's 63 kg or half-middleweight event at this year's European Championships, having beaten Poland's Agata Ozdoba-Blach.
The 24-year-old Leški bagged one of the bronze medals in her event at the 2021 Judo World Masters held in Doha, Qatar.
Yesterday, Kaja Kajzer won the silver medal in the women's 57 kg competition.
STA, 28 March 2021 - Nika Križnar has won the overall Ski Jumping World Cup to secure the first ever Crystal Globe trophy in the discipline in the women's competition for Slovenia.
The 21-year-old Slovenian placed third in today's event in Tchaikovsky, Russia, to pip Japanese Sara Takanashi to the trophy by nine points after the second series was cancelled due to strong winds.
The winner of today's event, Austria's Marita Kramer placed third overall, 11 points behind Križnar. Norway's Silje Opseth placed second, while Takanashi placed 7th in the event.
Kržnar thus won 871 points overall, Takanashi 862 and Kramer 860 points.
Of the 13 World Cup events this season, Križnar won ten podiums, including two victories for what were her first ever career World Cup top finishes.
As part of team Slovenia she has won two podiums this season. Today, Slovenia placed second to finish second overall with 2,883 points, 150 fewer than Austria.
Križnar's is the sixth Globe of the overall World Cup winner in winter sports for Slovenia.
Male ski jumpers Primož Peterka (1996/97 and 1997/98) and Peter Prevc (2015/16) have won three between them and Tina Maze won the Alpine skiing globe (2012/13), while Žan Košir has secured one in the Snowboard World Cup in parallel disciplines (2014/15).
STA, 28 March 2021 - Germany won the final team event of the Ski Jumping World Cup on the giant hill in Planica on Sunday ahead of Japan and Austria. Slovenia placed fourth, missing the last chance for a team podium this season.
Pius Paschke, Markus Eisenbichler, Constantin Schmid and Kar Geiger secured 819.5 points with jumps of 218, 235.5, 212 and 220.5 metres, beating their Japanese rivals by 9.5 points and Austria by 30.6 points at what was a single-series event.
Despite Bora Pavlovčič's personal best of 243 metres, Slovenia were 3.4 points short for the podium. Domen Prevc landed at 228.5 metres and Peter Prevc at 205 after making a mistake. Žiga Jelar made it to 204.5 metres.
Commenting on the poor showing of his team, coach Robert Hrgota told TV Slovenija: "You mustn't afford a mistake in a single season and we have."
Hrgota praised Bor Pavlovčič for his "excellent flight", but regretted the "failed" attempts by Peter Prevc and Žiga Jelar, while commending Domen on another very solid flight.
Pavlovčič is third after the first series in the individual event. Japan's Ryoyu Kobayashi is in the lead ahead of Germany's Karl Geiger.
* Results of team event: 1st Germany 819.5 points (Pius Paschke 218 m - Constantin Schmid 212 m - Markus Eisenbichler 235.5 m - Karl Geiger 220.5 m) 2nd Japan 810.0 (Naoki Nakamura 225.5 - Junshiro Kobayashi 214 - Yukiya Sato 229.5 - Ryoyu Kobayashi 226.5) 3rd Austria 788.9 (Daniel Huber 233.5 - Markus Schiffner 213 - Stefan Kraft 208.5 - Michael Hayböck 218,5) 4th Slovenia 785.5 (Bor Pavlovčič 243 - Peter Prevc 205 - Žiga Jelar 204.5 - Domen Prevc 228.5) 5th Norway 779.2 (Halvor Egner Granerud 229.5 - Marius Lindvik 198.5 - Johann Andre Forfang 212 - Robert Johansson 221) 6th Poland 763.9 (Piotr žyla 213 - Andrzej Stekala 222 - Jakub Wolny 214 - Dawid Kubacki 204) ...
STA, 25 March 2021 - Japan's Ryoyu Kobayashi won the individual ski flying World Cup event in Planica, Slovenia on Thursday, scoring 452.5 points. Germany's Markus Eisenbichler and Karl Geiger placed second (445.1 points) and third (431.2 points), respectively. The best among Slovenians was Bor Pavlovčič in fifth place.
The first event of the Ski Jumping World Cup finals saw a number of favourites miss out on the final round, including the overall winner of the season Halvor Egner Granerud of Norway.
After the first round, the situation was looking good for the Slovenian team with Domen Prevc and Pavlovčič trailing Kobayashi at the top, however both Slovenians underperformed in the final round. Prevc placed eight, whereas the rest of the team did not make it among the first 15 competitors.
The event on the Flying hill of Gorišek brothers marked the first time the final round saw as many as ten Slovenian competitors.
In a frightening turn of events Norway's Andre Tande suffered a terrible fall in the trial round and had to be airlifted to the UKC Ljubljana medical centre. His medical condition is currently stable, according to the International Ski Federation (FIS).
The 27-year-old is part of the Norwegian team that was victorious at the Ski Flying World Championships in Planica in December.
The next World Cup event will be held tomorrow when another individual event will take place.
STA, 24 March 2021 - The Slovenian men's football team will open the qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup against Croatia, the runners-up from the previous World Cup, in Ljubljana's Stožice Stadium on Wednesday. Two more games will follow in a one-week span, with Slovenia facing Russia on Saturday and Cyprus on 30 March, both on the road.
Slovenia are coming off a good performance in the UEFA Nations League, but the players are aware that the qualifiers for the tournament in Qatar require are on a different level, that they need to be even more focused and utilise every chance.
In addition to the three teams Slovenia are facing in the seven-day span, also featured in Slovenia's Group H are Malta and Slovakia, with the qualifiers scheduled through mid-November, when Slovenia will host Cyprus to wrap up the campaign.
Only the top team in the group will earn a direct ticket to next year's World Cup, and the second-place team will have to play in the additional round. Slovenia will be looking to qualify to what would be their only third World Cup ever.
The first opponents are Croatia, the runners-up from the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and the Slovenian players hopes they would continue to display good defence from the recent matches.
"This must be our DNA. We have to give it our best when we are without the ball, also be fully focused with the ball. We have to give as few opportunities as possible to our opponents, as these are players from top clubs," said midfielder Jasmin Kurtič.
Defender Jure Balkovec said as the team gathered for the training camp in Ljubljana that "it is hard to tell at the moment what result would be satisfactory for us. The group is very interesting, everybody can beat everybody."
As for Croatia, he said that it would be a match of rival neighbours in which it was hard to determine a favourite. "But we will let them have the role of a favourite, and we will give our best to beat them," he added.
Defender Miha Blažič said that the schedule was tough, but everybody was happy that the qualifiers were starting, with the wish being that Slovenia continued with the good play shown in the UEFA Nations League, in which it had advanced.
Presenting the roster, head coach Matjaž Kek said that the match with Croatia would be a display of great rivalry. "We have a great desire, motive to start the qualifiers successfully, but we are aware who is coming to Ljubljana."
* Slovenia's roster for the March slot of the World Cup qualifiers:
- goalkeepers: Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid), Vid Belec (Salernitana), Žiga Frelih (Olimpija);
- defenders: Bojan Jokić (Ufa), Miha Mevlja (Sochi), Petar Stojanović (Dinamo Zagreb), Nejc Skubic (Konyaspor), Jure Balkovec (Karagumruk), Miha Blažič (Ferencvaros), Kenan Bajrić (Slovan Bratislava), Mario Jurčević (Osijek);
- midfielders: Jasmin Kurtić (Parma), Miha Zajc (Genoa), Jaka Bijol (Hannover), Domen Črnigoj (Venezia), Amedej Vetrih (Gaziantep), Sandi Lovrić (Lugano), Nino Kouter (Mura), Jon Gorenc Stanković (Sturm Graz);
- forwards: Josip Iličić (Atalanta), Andraž Šporar (Braga), Damjan Bohar (Osijek), Haris Vučkić (Real Zaragoza), Luka Zahović (Pogon Szczecin), Blaž Kramer (Zürich).
STA, 21 March 2021 - Slovenian alpine skier Meta Hrovat placed third in women's giant slalom at the FIS World Cup finals in Lenzerheide, Switzerland on Sunday in what is her fourth podium finish in her career. New Zealand's Alice Robinson won the race.
Hrovat landed her second podium this season with today's third place after she already won bronze in giant slalom in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia. The Lenzerheide slopes seem to be to her liking as she podiumed for the first time in World Cup races on this hill in 2018.
"This route really works for me. The upper part is challenging, I feel good there, I was already feeling my skis in the morning while warming up, and the result is here," she said after the race.
After the first run, the 23-year-old ranked second along with Italy's Marta Bassino, being behind Mikaela Shiffrin of the US by a mere 0.10 seconds.
However, in a surprising turn of events, Robinson, who was fourth after the first run, claimed victory in the end, toppling Shiffrin, who won silver. Hrovat trailed the winner by 0.48 seconds.
After many ups and downs this season, she ranked ninth in the World Cup women's giant slalom standings as the best Slovenian skier in the discipline. For the second consecutive season, Hrovat is also the best Slovenian female skier according to the final overall standings, scoring 252 points to rank 25th.
"The season ended on a high note," she said, adding that she would aim even higher in the next season.
Her fellow skier Ana Bucik failed to finish the first run today, skiing out of the race.
STA, 21 March 2021 - Slovenian ski jumper Nika Križnar won silver in a FIS World Cup women's individual event in Nizhny Tagil, Russia on Sunday, reclaiming the yellow jersey. Austria's Marita Kramer meanwhile clinched another victory on the hill of the Russian ski resort this weekend.
Scoring 232.3 points, Križnar toppled Japan's Sara Takanashi, who placed third today, in the World Cup standings and reclaimed the yellow jersey of the overall leader with a total of 751 points. Takanashi has so far bagged 746 points.
Križnar's first jump was 93.5 metres long, however she lost key points due to her flawed landing. The 21-year-old did better in the second round, jumping 94 metres to win silver.
In the Slovenian team Špela Rogelj was second-best, placing 13th. Urša Bogataj ranked 14th and Ema Klinec underperformed after her third place in the qualifying round, ranking 18th. Klinec retained her fifth place in overall standings though.
The team's head coach Zoran Zupančič could not be present at the event due to testing positive for coronavirus. Zupančič, who recently recovered from Covid-19, had tested negative before the team left for Russia.
As the Women Blue Bird tour kicked off with the Nizhny Tagil event, Kramer is currently in the lead, trailed by Takanashi (21.1 points behind) and Križnar (24.8 points).
Next weekend, the women's World Cup season will wrap up with two individual events and a team event in Chaikovsky, Russia.
STA, 16 March 2021 - Slovenian road cycling star Tadej Pogačar is the winner of Tirreno-Adriatico, an elite race across Italy between the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic coasts, in what is already his sixth overall career win in multi-day races.
The 22-year-old racer for Team UEA Emirates set the foundation for the win in the "Race of the Two Seas" on Saturday and Sunday, when he grabbed the jersey for the overall leader after two gruelling stages.
He was reserved in the penultimate stage on Monday but managed to keep a lead of more than a minute ahead of the closest rivals, and the last, seventh stage, a 10.1-km time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto was a formality.
Pogačar was fourth in the time trial to keep the lead and win the sixth multi-stage race in his career, the most prestigious of them being last year's Tour de France. He also recently won the Tour of UAE.
The Slovenian finished more than one minute ahead of Belgium's Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma). Spain's Mikel Landa was third overall, falling almost four minutes behind Pogačar.
"I'm super happy with today's performance, with the entire week actually. I'm in great shape, and I have an excellent team by my side. I'm happy and we are going forward with positive thoughts," the Slovenian said.
In addition to the blue jersey for the overall winner, he also won the white jersey for the best young cyclists and the polka-dot jersey for the best mountain climber.
After his second multi-stage race this season, Pogačar will rest a bit, after taking part in the Tour of the Basque Country (5-10 April), where he will race against his compatriot Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) for this first time this year.
STA, 12 March 2021 - This weekend, the Alpine town of Kranjska Gora will be the penultimate destination of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup for this season. Top male skiers will compete on the Vitranc hill in giant slalom on Saturday and slalom on Sunday.
The two races and the competitions the following weekend in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, will determine the winner of the season's crystal globes.
In the overall standings, Alexis Pintarault currently holds an 81-point lead over Marco Odermatt of Switzerland, the only skier close enough to challenge Pintarault.
Pintarault is also at the top of giant slalom standings and will be defending his lead against Odermatt, as well as Filip Zubčić of Croatia.
Pintarault holds the highest number of Kranjska Gora podiums in giant slalom among active skiers. He climbed the podium seven times, winning the race on two of the occasions.
The standings in slalom may be cemented already this Sunday, as Marc Schwarz of Austria currently holds a 146-point lead over Swiss Ramon Zenhäusern in second place.
After the Kranjska Gora competition was cancelled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year, marking 60 years since the first race, the events will take place without spectators.
A charity campaign has been launched ahead of the competition, encouraging fans to donate the money they would have spent on tickets to the Botrstvo children charity, which also supports young athletes.
STA, 10 March 2021 - Chess player Laura Unuk has become the first Slovenian woman to win the International Master title awarded by the international chess governing body FIDE, the second highest-ranking title in chess.
Unuk won the title by bagging a victory at the chess tournament Mediterranean Flowers in Croatia's Rijeka on Tuesday. First she won against Ivana Hreščak and then against Olga Zimino from Italy in a live rating over 2,400.
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"I only needed this rating and I finally made it. I only needed the live rating to be over 2,400, but I will do my best that will also be the case on paper at the end of the tournament," said the 21-year-old student of chemistry and chemical technology, who has entered the tournament as Woman Grandmaster.
She won the Woman International Master title at the World Youth Chess Championships in Durban, South Africa, in 2014.