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21.12.2011, 04:19
Igor Vori dreaming of Olympic glory
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Croatian pivot expects great results at the EHF EURO in Serbia.
 

Igor Vori dreaming of Olympic glory

Croatia’s Igor Vori has had an illustrious career and won a haul of medals with the national team, but the tall 31-year old pivot is as hunger as ever for success – as he told a pool of reporters, including the EHF correspondent, in an exclusive interview during the Four Nations Cup earlier this month in Serbia.

Having acknowledged that Croatia was well below par in the tournament, designated as a dress rehearsal for January’s EHF EURO 2012 in four Serbian cities, Vori pointed out the team needed to raise their game if they are to figure as medal contenders in the European Championship.

"No one likes losing and what we need to do is work on a few details to polish up our game so that we are ready for EHF EURO 2012, because it’s going to be a demanding tournament," he said.

"The Four Nations Cup is a guide what we need to work on in order to be in top form for the European Championship. There is a long way to go but what I can say now is that our performances in EHF EURO 2012 will largely depend on whether we will be at full strength."

"Of course, our Preliminary Round rivals will also hope to avoid injuries. Slovenia and Iceland are always awkward opponents and the imperative is to put behind us our poor performances in the 2011 World Championship in Sweden because we did not shine in that event by any means."

Having won the 2004 Olympic gold medal with Croatia after clinching the 2003 World Championship, Vori is looking to add the Euro title as the only one missing from his trophy cabinet. Vori has since taken silver medals at the 2005 and 2009 worlds as well as in EHF EURO 2008, hence he knows how tall an order it will be to capture the elusive Euro crown in Serbia.

"Serbia are among the favourites in EHF EURO 2012 because of their individual quality and also because they are the host nation. There are 10 or even 12 teams capable of winning a medal so it’s going to be an uphill battle from start to finish, but we are optimistic that we can do well and give our fans plenty to cheer about," he said.

"I hope Croatian fans will turn up in numbers because we always have good support in major events. How many of them will come may largely depend on our results, we know that because it’s not easy to spend two weeks away from home supporting your team if they are not performing."

Although Vori has no intention to retire just yet, he knows that next year’s Olympic Games in London would probably be his last if Croatia qualifies. Having tasted Olympic glory in Athens 2004, Vori wants another shot at the most coveted handball title which is every player’s dream.

"It would be great to qualify for the Olympic Games in London. It would be my third Olympics and a real chance to win the most coveted medal in any major competition," Vori pointed out.

"There are very few players left in the squad from the team that won the 2003 World Championship in Portugal and the 2004 Olympic gold in Athens, perhaps just three or four of us. It would be the icing on the cake of an illustrious career for all of us, but that doesn’t mean I will retire after the Olympics. We want to win medals at both upcoming events, as any athlete would. It is every athlete’s dream to participate in the Olympics and win a medal there because it’s a unique feeling. Michael Schumacher won it all in Formula One many times over, but he once said that taking part in the Olympics would remain one of his unfulfilled dreams," said Vori.

Further information

Download the Official EHF EURO 2012 Playing Schedule (pdf)

Buy your EHF EURO 2012 tickets HERE.

Ticketing is managed by the Serbian Organising Committees. Should you need further assistance for buying your tickets, please contact via email: tickets@rss.org.rs

Find more information on the tournament on the official website www.ehf-euro.com/SRB2012/

Join the growing community of fans of the event on Facebook www.facebook.com/SRB2012


TEXT: Zoran Milosavljevic
 
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