STA, 9 October - Slovenian star cyclist Tadej Pogačar wrapped up the season in style by winning the last big race, Il Lombardia, on Saturday.
Trumping an all-star line-up, Pogačar finished the race ahead of the Italian Fausto Masnada and the Brit Adam Yates. The Slovenian Primož Roglič was fourth.
The UAE Team Emirates rider claimed victory in Bergamo after winning his second straight Tour de France and the Liege-Bastogne-Liege this season.
Two monuments and the Tour in one season is a historic feat which puts the 23-year-old alongside the likes of Eddy Merckx and Fausto Coppi, according to cycling media.
STA, 9 October 2021 - The Slovenian national football team beat Malta 4:0 in the qualifying for the World Cup on Friday night to remain in theoretical contention for a World Cup berth ahead of Monday's game against Russia.
The Atalanta forward Josip Iličić scored two goals and Andraž Šporar and Benjamin Sešek added one each for a convincing showing by the Slovenian team, which had come under heavy criticism after a botched performance against Croatia in September.
"They did what was desired and expected. The play was reliable. The victory will serve us well if we are smart," coach Matjaž Kek said after the game. "The game against Russia will show where we're at."
Slovenia now rank third in Group H with ten points behind Croatia and Russia, which have 16 points each after notching wins against Cyprus and Slovakia yesterday.
STA, 28 September 2021 - In addition to the traditional Franja cycling marathon, Slovenian amateur cyclists will have a shot at a Tour de France-like experience next year as the L'Etape du Tour event is staged in Slovenia's Kranj next September. The pinnacle of the festivities in and around the city will be a 70-kilometre and a 120-kilometre race.
L'Etape du Tour allows amateur cyclists to race over the same route as a Tour de France stage, while international events are also held annually in various countries around the world.
The first L'Etape Slovenia by Tour de France will be held in Kranj on 3 and 4 September 2022. In addition to the main two races, it will feature events for the youngest participants, school children, families and the elderly.
Aleš Hostnik of the organisers has told the STA that the longer route, which has 2,000m of cumulative elevation gain, will run through the places of birth of Slovenian cycling stars Tadej Pogačar (Komenda) and Matej Mohorič (Podblica).
"The amateur Tour de France events involve 24 cities in 21 countries and Slovenia is now a part of this story," he said, while Kranj Mayor Matjaž Rakovec added that "we are very happy that Kranj will host this event."
"This is an excellent opportunity for us and the neighbouring municipalities to present ourselves to the world," Rakovec said, pointing to the long cycling tradition in Kranj, where many Slovenian stars have trained.
Mohorič, who is an ambassador of the event, said that Kranj was a city of sport and a cycling destination. "The roads around here are the most beautiful ones that I've ever seen. This event is a great opportunity for the city."
Local cycling veteran Franc Hvasti promises that the event will be well organised. "We've had a long tradition of cycling events here ... including all three stages of the Giro d'Italia that were hosted in Slovenia," he said.
On behalf of the French organisers, Kevin Quinion said that this was a nice opportunity for amateur cyclists to feel the vibe of the Tour de France. "This is what we do around the world and I'm happy that we can share this experience with people."
Learn more at the official website
STA, 25 September 2021 - Slovenian kayaker Nejc Žnidaršič won the sprint event at the ICF's wildwater canoeing world championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Sunday to claim his fifth world champion title.
Žnidaršič finished 0.56 seconds ahead of France's Luca Barone, while another French, Maxence Barouh, won bronze. Slovenia's Anže Urankar placed fourth.
He made history by becoming the first whitewater competitor to win five world champion titles, which he said he was proud of.
"World championships have been on since 1952, but never has anyone become world champion for five times," the 37-year-old said.
He does not regret his sport not being an Olympic sport. "I want to do things that are fun. And if you are best at it, then I really see no problem."
This year's victory was more convincing that the previous, from two years ago, when he won by a mere hundredth.
He described the run as superb: "This was an optimal run, at least on this course," he said, attributing it partly to his vast experience.
STA, 19 September 2021 - Slovenia have the second consecutive silver at the European Volleyball Championship after losing to Italy 2:3 in Sunday's final.
With silver medals from the 2015 and 2019 tournaments Slovenia were hoping to take it one step further this time, but Italy proved too strong in a game of equals.
The Slovenian team mounted a strong start and won the opening set 25:22, but Italy kept up the pace to win the second set.
Third set went to Slovenia with 25:20, only for Italy to recover and win the last two sets thanks to a strong serving performance.
The two teams faced off in the group stage and Italy won that game 3:1. In fact, the Italians did not lose a single game the whole tournament.
STA, 18 September 2021 - Slovenia defeated Poland 3:1 on Saturday to enter the final of the European Volleyball Championship for the third time in the last four championships.
A nail-biting fourth set that lasted for almost an hour capped a three-hour game.
Poland won the first set, but in the marathon second set Slovenia staged a turnaround and carried the momentum through to the end of the game.
Slovenia will take on Italy in Sunday's Final.
STA, 13 September 2021 - The Slovenian men's volleyball team made it to the quarter-finals of the European Championships by beating Croatia in the round of 16 in Ostrava, Czech Republic on Monday.
Slovenia needed four sets to beat the neighbours, taking the first set convincingly and only slipping in the third set.
This served as motivation for the runners-up from the 2019 European Championship, who never let the Croatians come close in the fourth set, allowing them to score only 12 points to Slovenia's 25.
Klemen Čebulj was the top scorer for Slovenia with 13 points, and two players scored 11 points each as the country qualified for the top-eight at European Championships for the fourth time in a row.
Slovenia's Jan Kozamernik said that "today we played out a solid match. We had know that it would be difficult, also because this is a rivalry of neighbours and both teams were very motivated. We showed them that our quality was better."
Slovenia will play their quarter-finals match in Ostrava on Wednesday with the winner of the round of 16 encounter between the reining Olympic champions France and the Czech Republic.
"The quarter-final match will certainly be much more difficult, so we will need to raise our game to the next level and show that we deserve qualification in the semi-finals," Kozamernik added.
STA, 13 September 2021 - The Slovenian seaside resort of Portorož is hosting the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) circuit this week for a WTA 250 tournament with a prize money of 235,238 US dollars.
The tournament will open with a ceremony later on Monday followed by an all-Croatian match between Donna Vekić and Ana Konjuh.
The first seed, Croatia's Petra Martić ranks 32nd in the WTA rankings. Second seed is Kazakh player Yulia Putintseva, 33nd in the world rankings, and the third seed, Alison Riske of the US ranks 35th.
The tournament will feature eight Slovenian players, including Tamara Zidanšek as the 5th seed, and Kaja Juvan, who will face the first seed in the first round.
The first seeded Slovenian pair, Zidanšek and Andreja Klepač, will take on Juvan and Russia's Natela Dzalamidze in the doubles tournament in the early afternoon today.
In the singles, Nika Radišič will take on Kristina Mladenovic of France.
STA, 6 September 2021 - The Paralympic Games in Tokyo, which ended on Sunday night with a ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, were generally a success for the Slovenian Paralympic team. Shooter Franček Gorazd Tiršek won a silver and a bronze medal, while the younger members of the team gained valuable experience.
The Slovenian Paralympic team did not go to Japan with high expectations, aware that almost half of the team consisted of young and inexperienced athletes.
For them, this year's Tokyo Paralympic Games were mainly about gaining experience. The next games will take place in three years' time due to the postponement of both the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020 and they will be able to take on leading roles in the team.
In terms of results, Slovenia's best performer in Tokyo was shooter Franček Gorazd Tiršek with a second, third and 24th place. Meanwhile, the other member of the shooting team, France Pinter, came in tenth and 42nd.
The other members of the Slovenian team were cyclist Anej Doplihar (9th and 13th), athlete Henrik Plank (7th), swimmer Tim Žnidaršič Svenšek (two times 16th), archer Dejan Fabčič, who reached the elimination round, and table-tennis player Luka Trtnik, who was eliminated in the group preliminaries.
"It is always a wonderful feeling when we return from competitions, especially coming back home from the biggest competition in the world with a medal," said Tiršek upon his arrival in Slovenia.
?Vsak ponedeljek na @Val202 izbirajo ime tedna – nekoga, ki je prejšnji teden naredil korak dlje, stopil iz povprečja, dosegel več. Pošljimo SMS VAL1 za našega paralimpijca Frančka Gorazda Tirška! Konkurenca je izjemna: kolesar Primož Roglič in pesnik Milan Jesih!??? pic.twitter.com/vU1LrFzl6L— NPC Slovenia (@ParalympicsSLO) September 6, 2021
Qualifying for the Paralympic Games is often considered to be a very good achievement in itself, as the number of athletes is smaller than in the Olympics, the national quotas are limited and the standards for Paralympic qualification are very demanding.
"I would rate the organisation with 10 out of 10, as the Japanese have taken very good care of security. It was amazing to compete at these Games, I have got more motivation for the future and have already set my goals higher for Paris," Žnidaršič Svenšek said about his first Paralympic experience.
Slovenia's team leader Boro Štrumbelj also stressed that the incentive aspect of the Games is as important as the competitive aspect. A major event like the Paralympic Games can be an incentive for all people with disabilities who are still hesitant to engage in sports.
The Slovenian Sports Federation for the Disabled wants to use the impact of the Games to attract as many young people as possible to engage in sports and perhaps experience the competitive side of the Paralympic Games themselves.
The president of the Federation, Damijan Lazar, said that they were very pleased: "The experienced competitors achieved solid results, while the younger athletes made their debuts and foreshadowed their development and future with good performances."
The Slovenian Sports Federation for the Disabled will host a reception for all Paralympians on Wednesday in Ljubljana. They will summarise their impressions of the just concluded Summer Paralympics and also announce the Winter Games, which will take place next year in Beijing.
STA, 5 September 2021 - Slovenian cycling star Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) won Sunday's 33.8km time trial between Padron and Santiago de Compostela to win the Spanish race for the third time, while today's win is his fourth stage victory in the last three weeks.
The 31-year-old rider has become only the third cyclist to win three consecutive Vuelta races, after Swiss Tony Rominger (1992-1994) and Spanin's Roberto Heras (2003-2005).
At the end of July, Roglič outclassed the competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games in the men's time trial by more than a minute to win gold for Slovenia.
STA 1 September 2021 - Slovenian cycling star Primož Roglič has recaptured the red jersey at La Vuelta with a win in the mountainous 17th stage on Wednesday that puts him on track for the third consecutive overall victory.
The Jumbo-Visma rider was the only one to join the Colombian Egan Bernal for a runaway 67 kilometres before the finish.
With seven and a half kilometres to go in the 186-kilometre stage, he left Bernal in the dust on the last climb, winning with a gap of one minute and 35 seconds.
In the overall standings, Roglič now has a comfortable two minutes and 22 seconds on the Spaniard Enric Mas and three minutes, 11 seconds on the Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez.
The riders face another mountainous stage tomorrow.