25 Oct 2021, 10:18 AM

STA 24 October 2021 - Slovenia's Žan Kranjec finished 3rd as the men's giant slalom on the Rettenbach glacier above Sölden, Austria opened the Alpine Ski World Cup season on Sunday. The race was won by Marco Odermatt of Switzerland, and Austria's Roland Leitinger finished second.

Kranjec was quick already in the first run of the 2021/22 season opener, finishing fourth, 0.27 seconds behind the then leading Leitinger.

The 28-year-old from Ljubljana followed it up in the second run, taking the leading position three skiers to go. He was eventually overtaken by Odermatt and Leitinger with a very narrow margin.

The giant slalom specialist was only a tenth of a second late for the first place and was only 0.03 seconds behind Leitinger.

"The feelings are great, it's nice to start the season on the podium," Kranjec told reporters, adding that he had given the best of him. "I'm exceptionally happy and self-confident about the season continuing to be good," he added.

Kranjec noted before the first race that he had had a good training camp, that his head was calmer than in the previous season and that he was looking forward to the competition more.

Klemen Bergant, a coach for technical disciplines in the Slovenian men's team, said he was "happy for Žan for competing with the best after the difficult times, after the poorer last season. Perhaps it will be easier for him to continue the season."

This is a second podium finish for Kranjec in Sölden, as he also finished third there two years ago. In 2016, he was just below the podium, at 4th place.

Today's 3rd place is the eighth career podium finish for the Slovenian, who has two World Cup victories in the giant slalom (Saalbach-Hinterglemm in 2018 and Adelboden in 2020), and one second-place finish.

The other Slovenian who competed in today's World Cup season opener, Štefan Hadalin, finished 25th.

25 Oct 2021, 10:05 AM

STA, 24 October - The 25th Ljubljana Marathon on Sunday was dominated by Kenyan runners, with Ernest Kibet Tarus winning the men's race with a time of 2 hours 22 minutes and 39 seconds, and Kwamboka Momanyi Grace winning the women's competition (2:38:10). 

Ernest Kibet Tarus was far behind the official record of the Ljubljana Marathon, but nevertheless finished four minutes and a half ahead of the second-placed Marko Ranković of Serbia (2:27:09).

Slovenia's Janez Mulej (2:28:07) was third with his personal best time to win the title of the Slovenian champion.

Kwamboka Momanyi Grace meanwhile dominated the women's race, finishing more than seven minutes ahead of Slovenia's Anja Fink (2:45:29), who won the title of the Slovenian women's champion. Barbara Molnar of Hungary (2:55:18) was third.

The Ljubljana Marathon was held today after last year's race was cancelled due to the pandemic last year. This year's edition was slightly altered as well - all the races (10km, 21km and 42km) taking place on the same day.

In the half-marathon race, Slovenia's Primož Kobe won in the men's competition with a time of 1:07:02, and his compatriot Neja Kršinar had her personal best of 1:14:23 to win the women's competition.

In the 21-km wheelchair race was won by Andrej Rotar in the men's competition (42:43) and Tanja Cerkvenik in the women's competition (1:23:53).

24 Oct 2021, 09:59 AM

STA, 24 October - The 25th Ljubljana Marathon will take place in the Slovenian capital on Sunday, after it was cancelled due to the pandemic last year. This year's edition was slightly altered as well - all the races will be taking place on the same day, with runners testing their abilities on courses of 10km, 21km and 42km.

This year's marathon has been slightly downsized, so there were no traditional races for schoolchildren on the streets of Ljubljana in the days leading up to the main marathon.

In addition, no elite runners from abroad have signed up, while the best Slovenian marathon runners have not entered the 42km race either, opting for shorter distances instead.

The event will be opened at 9am by hand-cyclists riding a half-marathon, followed by the races on courses of 10km, 21km and 42km. The weather is expected to be sunny, with a cold morning and with temperatures rising up to 12 degrees Celsius during the day.

Leading up to the Ljubljana Marathon, the "Pink Marathon" took place throughout the month of October. With participating through the Strava app, runners were able to make a donation to the independent non-profit breast cancer awareness organisation Europa Donna.

An open fair was also held in Republic Square from Friday to Sunday with different activities for runners, athletes, fans, families and curious passers-by, said the organisers.

They said that last year's cancellation of the marathon due to the epidemic caused them significant financial damage, which they are hoping to avoid with this year's edition.

10 Oct 2021, 16:02 PM

STA, 9 October - Slovenian star cyclist Tadej Pogačar wrapped up the season in style by winning the last big race, Il Lombardia, on Saturday.

Trumping an all-star line-up, Pogačar finished the race ahead of the Italian Fausto Masnada and the Brit Adam Yates. The Slovenian Primož Roglič was fourth.

The UAE Team Emirates rider claimed victory in Bergamo after winning his second straight Tour de France and the Liege-Bastogne-Liege this season.

Two monuments and the Tour in one season is a historic feat which puts the 23-year-old alongside the likes of Eddy Merckx and Fausto Coppi, according to cycling media.

09 Oct 2021, 13:04 PM

STA, 9 October 2021 - The Slovenian national football team beat Malta 4:0 in the qualifying for the World Cup on Friday night to remain in theoretical contention for a World Cup berth ahead of Monday's game against Russia.

The Atalanta forward Josip Iličić scored two goals and Andraž Šporar and Benjamin Sešek added one each for a convincing showing by the Slovenian team, which had come under heavy criticism after a botched performance against Croatia in September.

"They did what was desired and expected. The play was reliable. The victory will serve us well if we are smart," coach Matjaž Kek said after the game. "The game against Russia will show where we're at."

Slovenia now rank third in Group H with ten points behind Croatia and Russia, which have 16 points each after notching wins against Cyprus and Slovakia yesterday.

28 Sep 2021, 14:34 PM

STA, 28 September 2021 - In addition to the traditional Franja cycling marathon, Slovenian amateur cyclists will have a shot at a Tour de France-like experience next year as the L'Etape du Tour event is staged in Slovenia's Kranj next September. The pinnacle of the festivities in and around the city will be a 70-kilometre and a 120-kilometre race.

L'Etape du Tour allows amateur cyclists to race over the same route as a Tour de France stage, while international events are also held annually in various countries around the world.

The first L'Etape Slovenia by Tour de France will be held in Kranj on 3 and 4 September 2022. In addition to the main two races, it will feature events for the youngest participants, school children, families and the elderly.

Aleš Hostnik of the organisers has told the STA that the longer route, which has 2,000m of cumulative elevation gain, will run through the places of birth of Slovenian cycling stars Tadej Pogačar (Komenda) and Matej Mohorič (Podblica).

"The amateur Tour de France events involve 24 cities in 21 countries and Slovenia is now a part of this story," he said, while Kranj Mayor Matjaž Rakovec added that "we are very happy that Kranj will host this event."

"This is an excellent opportunity for us and the neighbouring municipalities to present ourselves to the world," Rakovec said, pointing to the long cycling tradition in Kranj, where many Slovenian stars have trained.

Mohorič, who is an ambassador of the event, said that Kranj was a city of sport and a cycling destination. "The roads around here are the most beautiful ones that I've ever seen. This event is a great opportunity for the city."

Local cycling veteran Franc Hvasti promises that the event will be well organised. "We've had a long tradition of cycling events here ... including all three stages of the Giro d'Italia that were hosted in Slovenia," he said.

On behalf of the French organisers, Kevin Quinion said that this was a nice opportunity for amateur cyclists to feel the vibe of the Tour de France. "This is what we do around the world and I'm happy that we can share this experience with people."

Learn more at the official website

26 Sep 2021, 08:48 AM

STA, 25 September 2021 - Slovenian kayaker Nejc Žnidaršič won the sprint event at the ICF's wildwater canoeing world championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Sunday to claim his fifth world champion title.

Žnidaršič finished 0.56 seconds ahead of France's Luca Barone, while another French, Maxence Barouh, won bronze. Slovenia's Anže Urankar placed fourth.

He made history by becoming the first whitewater competitor to win five world champion titles, which he said he was proud of.

"World championships have been on since 1952, but never has anyone become world champion for five times," the 37-year-old said.

He does not regret his sport not being an Olympic sport. "I want to do things that are fun. And if you are best at it, then I really see no problem."

This year's victory was more convincing that the previous, from two years ago, when he won by a mere hundredth.

He described the run as superb: "This was an optimal run, at least on this course," he said, attributing it partly to his vast experience.

20 Sep 2021, 07:32 AM

STA, 19 September 2021 - Slovenia have the second consecutive silver at the European Volleyball Championship after losing to Italy 2:3 in Sunday's final.

With silver medals from the 2015 and 2019 tournaments Slovenia were hoping to take it one step further this time, but Italy proved too strong in a game of equals.

The Slovenian team mounted a strong start and won the opening set 25:22, but Italy kept up the pace to win the second set.

Third set went to Slovenia with 25:20, only for Italy to recover and win the last two sets thanks to a strong serving performance.

The two teams faced off in the group stage and Italy won that game 3:1. In fact, the Italians did not lose a single game the whole tournament.

19 Sep 2021, 12:59 PM

STA, 18 September 2021 - Slovenia defeated Poland 3:1 on Saturday to enter the final of the European Volleyball Championship for the third time in the last four championships.

A nail-biting fourth set that lasted for almost an hour capped a three-hour game.

Poland won the first set, but in the marathon second set Slovenia staged a turnaround and carried the momentum through to the end of the game.

Slovenia will take on Italy in Sunday's Final.

14 Sep 2021, 07:56 AM

STA, 13 September 2021 - The Slovenian men's volleyball team made it to the quarter-finals of the European Championships by beating Croatia in the round of 16 in Ostrava, Czech Republic on Monday.

Slovenia needed four sets to beat the neighbours, taking the first set convincingly and only slipping in the third set.

This served as motivation for the runners-up from the 2019 European Championship, who never let the Croatians come close in the fourth set, allowing them to score only 12 points to Slovenia's 25.

Klemen Čebulj was the top scorer for Slovenia with 13 points, and two players scored 11 points each as the country qualified for the top-eight at European Championships for the fourth time in a row.

Slovenia's Jan Kozamernik said that "today we played out a solid match. We had know that it would be difficult, also because this is a rivalry of neighbours and both teams were very motivated. We showed them that our quality was better."

Slovenia will play their quarter-finals match in Ostrava on Wednesday with the winner of the round of 16 encounter between the reining Olympic champions France and the Czech Republic.

"The quarter-final match will certainly be much more difficult, so we will need to raise our game to the next level and show that we deserve qualification in the semi-finals," Kozamernik added.

13 Sep 2021, 12:16 PM

STA, 13 September 2021 - The Slovenian seaside resort of Portorož is hosting the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) circuit this week for a WTA 250 tournament with a prize money of 235,238 US dollars.

The tournament will open with a ceremony later on Monday followed by an all-Croatian match between Donna Vekić and Ana Konjuh.

The first seed, Croatia's Petra Martić ranks 32nd in the WTA rankings. Second seed is Kazakh player Yulia Putintseva, 33nd in the world rankings, and the third seed, Alison Riske of the US ranks 35th.

The tournament will feature eight Slovenian players, including Tamara Zidanšek as the 5th seed, and Kaja Juvan, who will face the first seed in the first round.

The first seeded Slovenian pair, Zidanšek and Andreja Klepač, will take on Juvan and Russia's Natela Dzalamidze in the doubles tournament in the early afternoon today.

In the singles, Nika Radišič will take on Kristina Mladenovic of France.

Learn more on the website

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