Serbia’s Olympic middleweight boxer Aleksandar Drenovak is holding his focus after having fought his way through to the final sixteen with a win against Ecuador’s Suarez Delgado, late on Saturday. Despite the narrow margin win, Aleksandar was clearly confident of his win, even before the result was announced. “The match was very close, but I believed that I did enough to win,’ Aleksandar told Wild Rooster after the match. “But it was still a great feeling when they lifted my arm.”
As well as the physical aspects of training, Aleksandar is a firm believer in the mental preparations required to succeed at such a level. “Our team psychologist Dr Ljubica was with us at the match,’ he said. “She made me very calm with some useful advice before the match and then supported me during the match. I want to thank her very much for that.”
Serb marksman Andrija Zlatić was not swayed in his focus and he succeeded in winning bronze on day one of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Serbia’s newly-installed President Tomislav Nikolić watched from the crowd as Zlatić won his country’s first medal.
Speaking about Serbia’s medal hopes, President Nikolić told Wild Rooster: “This victory will be the first of ten, maybe. We are the best but we are maybe a little bit small (country). If we are bigger, we could be the best in the World.
“We have 115 athletes here. They didn’t come because they wanted to, but because they deserve it.”
Olympic fever has swept through a small town in Serbia, thanks to the efforts and achievements of young Serb middleweight boxer Aleksandar Drenovak. While the international spotlight is focused on London, celebrations will be kicking off in the spa town of Vrnjačka Banja, where Olympic excitement has become very personal.
Since winning his place to compete under the Serbian flag at London 2012, Aleksandar, aged 28, has become something of a local hero in the popular spa town in the Raška District of southwestern Serbia.
“Only about 20,000 live in Vrnjačka Banja so we are all like one big family,’ he told Wild Rooster. “Everybody there is very excited about me being at the Olympic Games. They will watch my matches on big video screens in the centre of town.
“I am very happy that I made them all so proud by getting this far. Because of me they are in some way a part of the Games. I hope that I can do them proud with my performance.”
Let the Games begin. Team Serbia has officially arrived at London 2012. The excitement among the athletes was palpable, as they paraded through the Olympic Village in a ceremony that mixed formality with celebration.
Among more than one hundred athletes representing Serbia at these Games, Novak Djoković, Milorad Čavić, Ana Ivanovic and Nadja Higl attracted most attention from international media and even athletes from other countries who came to enjoy the spectacle.
Serbian Ambassador to the United Kingdom Dr Dejan Popović made the journey to Stratford, East London, to welcome the athletes to Britain. He stood alongside President of the Serbian Olympic Committee Vlade Divac as their nation’s flag was raised to mark the moment when Team Serbia was officially in residence at London 2012.