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Sport & leisure - Croatia


Croats love sport and achieve great results in skiing, tennis, football, handball, basketball and more.

Goran Ivanisevic, one of the best tennis player ever

The Sinj Alka was a medieval knight contest, in which galloping horsemen target an iron ring with their spears. The holiday is preserved in the small Dalmatian town of Sinj and the Sinj Alka contest is held each year in August.

The word alka is of Turkish origin and means ring. An alka consists of two concentric iron rings, the bigger having a 5 inch diameter. The rings are connected by three legs, so that the space between the two rings is divided into one big and two smaller sections. The alka hangs on a rope over a road. A competing horseman, called an alkar, gallops from a distance of approximately 100 yards and attempts to pin the alka with his spear. If he pins the alka in the center, he scores three points; if he hits the alka in one of the smaller sections he scores two points; and if he hits the alka in the bigger section between the two rings he scores one point. After pinning the alka, the alkar throws it up in the air and attempts to catch it with his spear, which could double his score. Each alkar gallops three times. The winner is the one with the highest score. He is awarded money. The alkars dress in traditional, colorful folk costumes. Each alkar has a sword, two rifles and a spear, and is followed by two assistants. The horses that participate in the Sinj Alka are decorated too.


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