STA, 23 May 2021 - The famous road cycling race Giro d'Italia is returning to Slovenia after 17 years, as Sunday's 15th stage from Grado to Gorizia will also make a turn to Slovenia's picturesque wine-growing region of Brda and the city of Nova Gorica.
This is the sixth time that the Grand Tour race will pass through Slovenia, after 1922, 1971, 1994, 2001 and 2004.
The 15th stage from Grado to Gorizia is 147 kilometres long, 40 kilometres of which will go through Slovenia, including three passes over the steep, 2-km long Gornje Cerovo climb.
This will be followed by a succession of tough climbs and descents and after the third lap, the route passes through Nova Gorica and finishes on the other side of the border in the Italian town of Gorizia.
Jan Tratnik will be the only Slovenian rider fighting for what would be the ninth stage win for the country in the history of Giro, after his teammate Matej Mohorič suffered a nasty fall and is out of the race.
The 31-year-old said that the most important will be to choose the right time for a breakaway. "I'll do my best, because I don't want to have any regrets after I cross the finish line."
Apart from numerous activities along the route, spectators will be allowed to watch the race from the sidelines, but there will be no organised arrivals.
STA, 8 May 2021 - Slovenian canoeists have been going from strength to strength, with silver for Eva Terčelj and bronze for Peter Kauzer at the European Canoe Slalom Championships on Saturday raising hopes for top positions at the Tokyo Olympics.
Terčelj is a world champion but the silver in the individual event is her first medal from a European championship.
Kauzer's bronze was even more welcomes in some sense, as it has also earned him a ticket to Tokyo, which Terčelj had secured before.
"There's absolutely no bitter aftertaste. I'm not dwelling on where I lost gold, I'm more than happy with silver," Terčelj said.
Kauzer, meanwhile, said he was almost as happy as winning gold given that he's now travelling to Tokyo.
STA, 3 May 2021 - The Slovenian Olympic torch set out on its 81-day journey around Slovenia in Bovec on Monday to visit all 212 municipalities until 23 July, after it was taken to Triglav, the country's highest mountain, at the weekend. Over 5,000 runners will carry the symbol of the Olympic Games in the run-up to the Tokyo Summer Olympics.
The torch was brought to Bovec by athletes from Bovec area - footballer Primož Zorc, kayaker Igor Mlekuž and climber Tine Cuder, while ex-Alpine skier Miran Gašperšič had the honour of lighting it.
Mayor Valter Mlekuž said that it was a special honour for Bovec to see the Olympic torch begin its journey here.
Ex-runner Meta Mačus, head of the regional Olympic office in Nova Gorica, believes the torch will fill people with positive emotions and the Olympic spirit, as it connects the entire country.
?Slovenska bakla osvojila Triglav! ? Kljub slabemu vremenu je 6️⃣ gorskih reševalcev z derezami in smučmi ? osvojilo...Posted by Slovenia Olympic Team on Sunday, 2 May 2021
The torch was then taken by up-and-coming athletes from Bovec area footballer Zala Kuštrin, freestyle skier Matej Bradaškja and runner Tobi Gabršček passing it on to three riders, who took it to the town of Kobarid.
Children from the Bovec primary school also took part in the launch ceremony, carrying banners with motivational slogans for Slovenian athletes, while year-eight gymnasts presented their skills.
The torch's journey is organised by the Slovenian Olympic Committee in collaboration with the police.
The torch is made of recycled steel and Slovenian beechwood, and will finish its journey in Ravne na Koroškem, where it was forged.
STA, 25 April 2021 - Slovenia's rider Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) won the Belgian one-day classic Liege-Bastogne-Liege in what is his sixth win this season and 23rd overall, as his compatriot Primož Roglič failed to defend the title.
Pagačar is thus the second Slovenian rider to win the Liege-Bastogne-Liege race, while he also won the 2020 Tour de France for a double Slovenian victory with Roglič.
The 22-year-old beat France's Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) and his compatriot David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) in today's sprint finish of the best five.
The victory comes after he has recently won the multi-stage races in the United Arab Emirates and Tirreno-Adriatico.
Roglič, 31, meanwhile finished 13th, while the third Slovenian at the race, Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious), was 10th.
Last year, Pogačar finished this race third, behind Roglič and Swiss rider Marc Hirschi.
STA, 22 April 2021 - The Slovenian women's handball team has qualified for the world championship, to be held in Spain in December, by defeating Iceland in the two-match playoffs. This will be the seventh appearance for the women's team at the highest global stage.
After last Saturday's 24:14 win in Ljubljana, yesterday's match in Iceland's Hafnarfjordur was a mere formality, with Slovenia managing to eke out a 21:21 draw to easily qualify for the tournament that will be played on 2-19 December.
This will be the seventh appearance at the world championships for the team led by Montenegrin coach Dragan Adžić, with the most recent appearance being in Japan in 2019. The best result, the 8th place, came in Croatia in 2003.
STA, 17 April 2021 - Slovenian judoka Tina Trstenjak won gold at the European Judo Championships 2021 in the women's 63 kg event in Lisbon, Portugal on Saturday. She won against Russia's Daria Davydova. Fellow Slovenian judoka Andreja Leški got a bronze in the same category earlier.
Trstenjak, an Olympic champion at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro, got the better of Davydova at the end of the match after a demanding contest.
Imamo evropsko prvakinjo!!!??? Tina Trstenjak je osvojila naslov ?evropske prvakinje? v kategoriji do 63 kilogramov, to je njen že tretji naslov!??? Andreja Leški je v isti kategoriji osvojila bronasto? kolajno??? ?— Judo zveza Slovenije (@judoSLO) April 17, 2021
Več: https://t.co/ynY69WkF3e pic.twitter.com/RxzY1kK5oF
The 30-year-old already has two gold medals from the European Championships in 2017 and 2016. She was also a world champion in 2015.
Slovenia's Andreja Leški meanwhile claimed bronze in the women's 63 kg or half-middleweight event at this year's European Championships, having beaten Poland's Agata Ozdoba-Blach.
The 24-year-old Leški bagged one of the bronze medals in her event at the 2021 Judo World Masters held in Doha, Qatar.
Yesterday, Kaja Kajzer won the silver medal in the women's 57 kg competition.
STA, 28 March 2021 - Nika Križnar has won the overall Ski Jumping World Cup to secure the first ever Crystal Globe trophy in the discipline in the women's competition for Slovenia.
The 21-year-old Slovenian placed third in today's event in Tchaikovsky, Russia, to pip Japanese Sara Takanashi to the trophy by nine points after the second series was cancelled due to strong winds.
The winner of today's event, Austria's Marita Kramer placed third overall, 11 points behind Križnar. Norway's Silje Opseth placed second, while Takanashi placed 7th in the event.
Kržnar thus won 871 points overall, Takanashi 862 and Kramer 860 points.
Of the 13 World Cup events this season, Križnar won ten podiums, including two victories for what were her first ever career World Cup top finishes.
As part of team Slovenia she has won two podiums this season. Today, Slovenia placed second to finish second overall with 2,883 points, 150 fewer than Austria.
Križnar's is the sixth Globe of the overall World Cup winner in winter sports for Slovenia.
Male ski jumpers Primož Peterka (1996/97 and 1997/98) and Peter Prevc (2015/16) have won three between them and Tina Maze won the Alpine skiing globe (2012/13), while Žan Košir has secured one in the Snowboard World Cup in parallel disciplines (2014/15).
STA, 28 March 2021 - Germany won the final team event of the Ski Jumping World Cup on the giant hill in Planica on Sunday ahead of Japan and Austria. Slovenia placed fourth, missing the last chance for a team podium this season.
Pius Paschke, Markus Eisenbichler, Constantin Schmid and Kar Geiger secured 819.5 points with jumps of 218, 235.5, 212 and 220.5 metres, beating their Japanese rivals by 9.5 points and Austria by 30.6 points at what was a single-series event.
Despite Bora Pavlovčič's personal best of 243 metres, Slovenia were 3.4 points short for the podium. Domen Prevc landed at 228.5 metres and Peter Prevc at 205 after making a mistake. Žiga Jelar made it to 204.5 metres.
Commenting on the poor showing of his team, coach Robert Hrgota told TV Slovenija: "You mustn't afford a mistake in a single season and we have."
Hrgota praised Bor Pavlovčič for his "excellent flight", but regretted the "failed" attempts by Peter Prevc and Žiga Jelar, while commending Domen on another very solid flight.
Pavlovčič is third after the first series in the individual event. Japan's Ryoyu Kobayashi is in the lead ahead of Germany's Karl Geiger.
* Results of team event: 1st Germany 819.5 points (Pius Paschke 218 m - Constantin Schmid 212 m - Markus Eisenbichler 235.5 m - Karl Geiger 220.5 m) 2nd Japan 810.0 (Naoki Nakamura 225.5 - Junshiro Kobayashi 214 - Yukiya Sato 229.5 - Ryoyu Kobayashi 226.5) 3rd Austria 788.9 (Daniel Huber 233.5 - Markus Schiffner 213 - Stefan Kraft 208.5 - Michael Hayböck 218,5) 4th Slovenia 785.5 (Bor Pavlovčič 243 - Peter Prevc 205 - Žiga Jelar 204.5 - Domen Prevc 228.5) 5th Norway 779.2 (Halvor Egner Granerud 229.5 - Marius Lindvik 198.5 - Johann Andre Forfang 212 - Robert Johansson 221) 6th Poland 763.9 (Piotr žyla 213 - Andrzej Stekala 222 - Jakub Wolny 214 - Dawid Kubacki 204) ...
STA, 25 March 2021 - Japan's Ryoyu Kobayashi won the individual ski flying World Cup event in Planica, Slovenia on Thursday, scoring 452.5 points. Germany's Markus Eisenbichler and Karl Geiger placed second (445.1 points) and third (431.2 points), respectively. The best among Slovenians was Bor Pavlovčič in fifth place.
The first event of the Ski Jumping World Cup finals saw a number of favourites miss out on the final round, including the overall winner of the season Halvor Egner Granerud of Norway.
After the first round, the situation was looking good for the Slovenian team with Domen Prevc and Pavlovčič trailing Kobayashi at the top, however both Slovenians underperformed in the final round. Prevc placed eight, whereas the rest of the team did not make it among the first 15 competitors.
The event on the Flying hill of Gorišek brothers marked the first time the final round saw as many as ten Slovenian competitors.
In a frightening turn of events Norway's Andre Tande suffered a terrible fall in the trial round and had to be airlifted to the UKC Ljubljana medical centre. His medical condition is currently stable, according to the International Ski Federation (FIS).
The 27-year-old is part of the Norwegian team that was victorious at the Ski Flying World Championships in Planica in December.
The next World Cup event will be held tomorrow when another individual event will take place.
STA, 24 March 2021 - The Slovenian men's football team will open the qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup against Croatia, the runners-up from the previous World Cup, in Ljubljana's Stožice Stadium on Wednesday. Two more games will follow in a one-week span, with Slovenia facing Russia on Saturday and Cyprus on 30 March, both on the road.
Slovenia are coming off a good performance in the UEFA Nations League, but the players are aware that the qualifiers for the tournament in Qatar require are on a different level, that they need to be even more focused and utilise every chance.
In addition to the three teams Slovenia are facing in the seven-day span, also featured in Slovenia's Group H are Malta and Slovakia, with the qualifiers scheduled through mid-November, when Slovenia will host Cyprus to wrap up the campaign.
Only the top team in the group will earn a direct ticket to next year's World Cup, and the second-place team will have to play in the additional round. Slovenia will be looking to qualify to what would be their only third World Cup ever.
The first opponents are Croatia, the runners-up from the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and the Slovenian players hopes they would continue to display good defence from the recent matches.
"This must be our DNA. We have to give it our best when we are without the ball, also be fully focused with the ball. We have to give as few opportunities as possible to our opponents, as these are players from top clubs," said midfielder Jasmin Kurtič.
Defender Jure Balkovec said as the team gathered for the training camp in Ljubljana that "it is hard to tell at the moment what result would be satisfactory for us. The group is very interesting, everybody can beat everybody."
As for Croatia, he said that it would be a match of rival neighbours in which it was hard to determine a favourite. "But we will let them have the role of a favourite, and we will give our best to beat them," he added.
Defender Miha Blažič said that the schedule was tough, but everybody was happy that the qualifiers were starting, with the wish being that Slovenia continued with the good play shown in the UEFA Nations League, in which it had advanced.
Presenting the roster, head coach Matjaž Kek said that the match with Croatia would be a display of great rivalry. "We have a great desire, motive to start the qualifiers successfully, but we are aware who is coming to Ljubljana."
* Slovenia's roster for the March slot of the World Cup qualifiers:
- goalkeepers: Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid), Vid Belec (Salernitana), Žiga Frelih (Olimpija);
- defenders: Bojan Jokić (Ufa), Miha Mevlja (Sochi), Petar Stojanović (Dinamo Zagreb), Nejc Skubic (Konyaspor), Jure Balkovec (Karagumruk), Miha Blažič (Ferencvaros), Kenan Bajrić (Slovan Bratislava), Mario Jurčević (Osijek);
- midfielders: Jasmin Kurtić (Parma), Miha Zajc (Genoa), Jaka Bijol (Hannover), Domen Črnigoj (Venezia), Amedej Vetrih (Gaziantep), Sandi Lovrić (Lugano), Nino Kouter (Mura), Jon Gorenc Stanković (Sturm Graz);
- forwards: Josip Iličić (Atalanta), Andraž Šporar (Braga), Damjan Bohar (Osijek), Haris Vučkić (Real Zaragoza), Luka Zahović (Pogon Szczecin), Blaž Kramer (Zürich).
STA, 21 March 2021 - Slovenian alpine skier Meta Hrovat placed third in women's giant slalom at the FIS World Cup finals in Lenzerheide, Switzerland on Sunday in what is her fourth podium finish in her career. New Zealand's Alice Robinson won the race.
Hrovat landed her second podium this season with today's third place after she already won bronze in giant slalom in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia. The Lenzerheide slopes seem to be to her liking as she podiumed for the first time in World Cup races on this hill in 2018.
"This route really works for me. The upper part is challenging, I feel good there, I was already feeling my skis in the morning while warming up, and the result is here," she said after the race.
After the first run, the 23-year-old ranked second along with Italy's Marta Bassino, being behind Mikaela Shiffrin of the US by a mere 0.10 seconds.
However, in a surprising turn of events, Robinson, who was fourth after the first run, claimed victory in the end, toppling Shiffrin, who won silver. Hrovat trailed the winner by 0.48 seconds.
After many ups and downs this season, she ranked ninth in the World Cup women's giant slalom standings as the best Slovenian skier in the discipline. For the second consecutive season, Hrovat is also the best Slovenian female skier according to the final overall standings, scoring 252 points to rank 25th.
"The season ended on a high note," she said, adding that she would aim even higher in the next season.
Her fellow skier Ana Bucik failed to finish the first run today, skiing out of the race.