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.”
Team Serbia Morale Boost
Team Serbia had high hopes of a medal win for Zlatić, of Užice in western Serbia, and he did not disappoint. By bringing home a bronze in the Men’s 10m Air Pistol contest, Zlatić has given Team Serbia a major morale booster for the team, said Serbian Olympic Committee boss Vlade Divac. “Every time when you win a medal, especially on the first day, it gives you good energy. Hopefully our athletes are going to continue to do that.”
Pressed on his team’s medal hopes, Divac told Wild Rooster: “Any medal for us is big success but in the range of between five and ten medals would be great.”
The room erupted into applause as Zlatić entered, sporting his new medal. Serbia’s basketball hero Vlade Divac attended the exclusive event with Team Serbia’s Chef de Mission Branislav Jevtić and some of Team Serbia’s other medal hopefuls.
President Nikolić Visits Olympic Village
In a rare break from the comforts of the Olympic Village in East London, the athletes appeared a little overcome by the attention being given to them by the room of dignitaries, uniformed military officials and members of the Orthodox clergy. After accepting the encouragement of their president and posing for photographs, they took their leave and returned to their teammates across London.
President Nikolić was due to attend more London 2012 Olympic sporting events on Sunday at to meet other competitors at Team Serbia’s base in the Olympic Village. One athlete he is quite sure to congratulate is young Serb middleweight boxer Aleksandar Drenovak, who fought through to the next round.
Opening Ceremony: Fabulous, Says President
Wild Rooster spoke with President Nikolić at the Serbian Embassy in London. The President praised Friday’s London 2012 Opening Ceremony, although the pace of the action appeared to be a lot to take in over such a long night. “I thought it was fabulous,’ he said.
“I felt sometimes that I am in Switzerland. Everything was in seconds, not in minutes, in seconds. There was a lot happening all around. Wherever you look you see something. Maybe it was too long, because four hours to be in one place is too much.”
Divac was more reserved in his assessment of London’s big night: “It was nice,’ he said. “I expected something like that. An Opening Ceremony is all about presenting good stuff about your country and the British did that.”