The last two competition days of the Olympic Games in London saw Serbia winning two medals. On Saturday, the sport fans in Serbia were treated by the Olympic gold medal, won by taekwondo representative Milica Mandic in her Olympic debut, while on Sunday the national water polo team showed why they are the heroes of the nation and won the bronze in a dramatic match against the Montenegrin selection. With the score of four medals won, Serbia took the 42nd place among the countries that took medals in the 30th Olympic Games in London. Igor Dejanovic prepares the Olympic roundup.
Serbian taekwondo representative Milica Mandic has won the gold Olympic medal in the weight class +67kg. In the final match she bested Anne-Caroline Graffe from France with the result 9:7. In the first round of competition Mandic bested Taligita Crowley from Samoa with 16:2; in the quarter-final she beat Mexican Maria del Rosario Espinoza, who was the title holder in Beijing 2008, with the result 6:4; in the semi-final our representative triumphed over Anastasia Baryshnikova from Russia with 11:3.
Mandic has stated that she had her wish realized to sing the national anthem. “It was my wish since the day I started training – climbing the winner’s stand, singing the Serbian anthem and watching our flag rising. The feeling is priceless, something to live for. I am overflowing with emotions, just cannot believe I have the gold medal around my neck”, said Milica Mandic. After winning the gold, she added she would like to partake in the Olympics two more times, and dreams about carrying the Serbian flag at the opening of the Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
The Serbian national water polo team was victorious over Montenegro with the result 12:11, after a miraculous turnover in the Olympic tournament, thus taking the bronze medal. Namely, six and a half minutes before the end of the match, Montenegro had the three-goal lead, but despite the numerous penalties and biased referees, Serbia made the 4:0 series and reached the deserved victory. Filip Filipovic scored three goals, Dusko Pijetlovic and Slobodan Nikic two goals each, while the final goals was scored by team captain Vanje Udovicic 55 seconds before the end.
Serbian head coach Dejan Udovicic has said after winning the bronze that it was hard to turn over the result and that refereeing was disgraceful. “It was incredibly difficult. All in all, we deserved to come back to Belgrade with a medal. The match was demanding and difficult, the refereeing was disgraceful, but it only makes me even more proud and the triumph that much to our hearts. In the end, we were almost out of players”, stressed coach Udovicic.
Forward of our team Slobodan Nikic has pointed that this bronze shines like gold, and that Serbia deserved the medal. “We won despite having two players less in the pool, playing with two forwards. We took the bronze deservedly. No matter how bitter I was about the semi-final, I am so happy now. Once more we came back from an impossible situation, showed heart and took the medal. It is a great success for us”, underlined Nikic.
In the final match, the water polo selection of Croatia won the gold medal by defeating Italy with the result 8:6.
Serbian athletes have won four medals in London, thus ranking 42nd in the final medal count of the 30th Olympic Games. Serbia shares the 42nd position with the teams of Argentina and Slovenia, as they also won one gold, one sIlver and two bronze medals each. Most successful was the national team of USA with 104 medals, followed by China with 87 and Great Britain in the third place with 65.