At the traditional ceremony held in Villa Gorica, with presence of numerous guests, Montenegrin Olympic Committee declared judoka Srđan Mrvaljević for the best athlete of Montenegro in 2011.
Mrvaljević earned this recognition by winning the silver medal at the World Championship in Paris, and he was also winner of this year’s World Cups held in Budapest and Venezuela. At the International Judo Federation ranking list he is on 12.. position and he already ensured his participation at the Olympic Games in London. “It is great honor to be the best athlete of Montenegro. We can’t promise medals and victories, but we promise to give more than our best to represent our country with dignity, courage and pride. We hope that in the future we will make you proud and bring you more joyful moments”, said Mrvaljević at the ceremony in Villa Gorica.
For best young athletes of Montenegro in 2011. are declared athlete Danijel Furtula and tennis player Danka Kovinić.
Furtula is winner of the second place at the Junior European Championship in discus. Seven times he was record winner in Montenegro. At the European Athletics Federation rang list he is on second place and at the International Athletics Federation rang list he is third in discus.
“Second exhausting year is behind us, in which we achieved good results at international level. It is a proof of quality work. This year I will participate at the European Championship in Helsinki, and I believe that participation at the Olympic Games in London is also possible. It is big but possible goal”, said Furtula.
Kovinić is winner of six junior tournaments; she was quarterfinalist of the Roland Garros and Australian Open for juniors. Officially, she is sixth at the junior rang list of best tennis players. Due to other obligations, she wasn’t present at the ceremony.
Recognitions for best national teams of Montenegro in 2011. are awarded to senior football and women basketball national teams.
Basketball players were sixth at the European Championship in Poland while football players finished their qualifications for the European Championship in barrage.
Captain of the women basketball national team Jelena Škerović said that basketball players had successful year and that they deserved this recognition from MOC.
“Impressions are positive and I hope that next year we will repeat it or even improve it. Nobody expected such success; we were close to qualifications for the Olympic Games. Ambitions for the future competitions are to give our best and result will follow”, said Škerović.
Secretary General of the Football Association of Montenegro Momir Đurđevac considers that good results from these qualifications give hope for the successful next cycle.
“This recognition is for the two-year cycle and its crown is placement to the barrage. Unfortunately, we didn’t succeeded and we expect the next cycle with lots of optimism”, said Đurđevac.
President of Montenegrin Olympic Committee, Dušan Simonović said that MOC will have to face serious preparations for the Olympic Games.
“We have athletes that already provided participation in London; we hope that few more will made it too. As for team sports, I am assured that water polo players will be participants of the Games too as well as women handball team who have a chance to go to London too through qualification tournament in France”, said Simonović.
President Simonović announced that in honor of the Olympic Games, MOC will organize events for promotion of olympism in schools, including Olympic caravan that will visit most of Montenegrin cities.
“Let us all be in one team for organization and good preparations of our Olympic team in London, so that we can all together celebrate at the end”, said Simonović.
Prime Minister Igor Lukšić said that the Government gave its contribution to improvement of legal infrastructure and defining of system solutions for sport support.
“This year has certainly showed how much Montenegrin society tends to sport and how much joy and happiness it brings. Thus, it is our obligation to be more appropriately related to talent and successful athletes. In a world that we live, sport is one of the most important competitive tools”, said Lukšić.
He announced that the Government will continue to systematically help sport through various programs and will not overlook anyone or any sport, especially those that are not Olympic, but also bring forth large number of athletes”, concluded Lukšić.
Aleksandra Radović, Executive Director of Telenor, general sponsor of Montenegrin Olympic Committee, presented the gifts to best athletes of Montenegro in 2011 and stressed that Telenor will provide adequate presents for winners of the Olympic medals.