Team GB will welcome six national men’s basketball teams at a dress rehearsal for next summer’s big event. With one year to go before the curtain goes up on the London 2012 Olympics, basketball fans from Serbia and Croatia will get a first-look at the facilities.
With the paint hardly dry on the spanking new Olympic Basketball Arena, tickets for the London International Basketball Invitational (16-21 August) go on sale on 26 May. In what promises to be more than a practice run, teams from Australia, China, Croatia, France, Great Britain and Serbia will compete in the first event at any London 2012 Olympic Park venue.
|Serbian Great, Milorad Čavić|
Olympic preparations for some of the world’s top swimmers will begin in earnest when they meet in Banja Luka for the Fourth International Swimming Championships. With little over one year to go until the Opening Ceremony at London 2012, all eyes will be on the water for this international meet.
Swimmers from 18 countries will descend on the capital of Republika Srpska to participate in the Banja Luka Open 2011 (28-29 May), including Serbia, Russia, Italy, the Netherlands, Croatia, Bosnia, Greece, Estonia, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Israel, Bulgaria and Kenya.
While these swimmers are more than familiar with competing at major international championships. their sights are now set on big things around the corner. Many will be pinning their dreams on impressing national selectors and fast-tracking themselves closer to the London Olympics 2012.
Homophobic attackers struck in Podgorica just hours before organisers of Montenegro’s first Gay Pride had to cancel the event claiming lack of state support. Podgorica Pride – scheduled for May 31 – has been indefinitely postponed due to the apparent lack of state commitment or support for the LGBT population in Montenegro, organisers said on Tuesday.
Hours earlier, members of the organising committee had been attacked after leaving a concert of around 600 members of the LGBT community, friends, supporters, many of whom came with their families and children. The concert by Croatian band Lollobrigida was organised by Juventas under the banner ‘Love is the Attitude’, as part of their third year of activities to support to mark International Day Against Homophobia. Violence had erupted earlier at the concert, when tear gas was thrown.
The 31st anniversary of the death of Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito has been marked by crowds in Serbia and Croatia, while others chose to recall his message of brotherhood in a more joyful way.
Earlier this month, large numbers of the late president’s supporters gathered at Tito’s tomb in Belgrade. Hundreds more flocked to his birthplace in Kumrovec, Croatia, to lay wreaths and commemorate his death on May 4, 1980.
Meanwhile, memories were awakened in the Istrian holiday town of Umag as a colourful convoy left on a nostalgic road trip from Croatia to Serbia to commemorate the annual Youth Day pioneer relays to honour Tito. The appropriately named Tito bar was the starting point for the cars plastered with the slogan ‘Bratstvo i Jedinstvo’ (Brotherhood and Unity) and portraits of Tito.