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Croatia's Tin Srbić: 'I Can Fight To Stay No. 1'
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Featured in the December 2017 issue of International Gymnast magazine, world high bar champion and Croatian Athlete of the Year Tin Srbić told IG he will need to continue progressing to stay at the top. Srbić, pictured here at a press conference after returning home to Zagreb, was treated to corrective laser eye surgery by the Croatian Olympic Committee, which named him its 2017 Male Athlete of the Year.

Featured in the December 2017 issue of International Gymnast magazine, world high bar champion and Croatian Athlete of the Year Tin Srbić told IG he will need to continue progressing to stay at the top.


Tin Srbić (Croatia) during the high bar final at the 2017 Worlds in Montreal

"I can fight to stay No. 1 only if I improve myself even more," Srbić said.

Srbić was the surprise winner on high bar at the 2017 World Championships in Montreal, where he scored 14.433 to defeat former world and Olympic high bar champion Epke Zonderland (14.233) and his Dutch teammate Bart Deurloo (14.200) on the final day of competition, October 8. Srbić, who just celebrated his 21st birthday on September 11.

"I didn't expect to win gold at my first world championships, at age 21," said Srbić, who qualified to the final in third place behind Zonderland and Switzerland's Pablo Brägger.

Srbić is the first world or Olympic gymnastics champion for Croatia and its third medalist overall. Filip Ude won silver medals on pommel horse at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and 2014 World Championships in Nanning. Marijo Možnik also picked up the bronze medal on high bar in Nanning.

Srbić has racked up more awards since returning home to Zagreb. Most recently he was named "Male Athlete of the Year" for 2017 by the Croatian Olympic Committee on December 20. Track and field athlete Sandra Perković, the two-time Olympic champion in the discus throw, was named Female Athlete of the Year after winning her second world title in 2017. Srbić and Perković were also named Athletes of the Year by sports daily Sportske Novosti — which conducted a poll of more than 350 Croatian journalists — and by the Zagreb Sports Association.

In addition to his year-end honors, Srbić was treated to laser eye surgery (Lasik) by the Croatian Olympic Committee to correct his severe myopia, or nearsightedness. Prior to the surgery, Srbić had 20/125 vision (-1.75 diopter), but he competed without his glasses nonetheless.

The December 2017 issue of International Gymnast magazine includes "Montreal Milestones," a collection of profiles including Srbić, Giulia Steingruber (Switzerland), Diana Varinska (Ukraine), Jorge Vega (Guatemala) and Claudia Fragapane (Great Britain). To order back issues, or subscribe to the print and/or digital edition of International Gymnast magazine, click here.

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