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Marko BIJAC
Sport Water Polo
NOC Croatia   
GenderMen
Born12 Jan 1991 in Dubrovnik, YUG
Height1.99 m
Weight 88 kg
 Human Interest 
Further Personal Information
Residence
Dubrovnik, CRO
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
Croatian, English
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up water polo at age 11 in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Why this sport?
His father was a water polo player for VK Jug, so he was naturally involved in the sport. His grandmother used to take him to watch his father's matches. "As a child I was going to watch games of my father. At age six I started swimming, but it was boring for me so at age 11, logically, I took up water polo."
Club / Team
Pro Recco: Italy
Name of coach
Gabriel Hernandez [club], ESP; Ivica Tucak [national], CRO
Preferred position / style / stance / technique
Goalkeeper
Handedness
Right
General Interest
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning gold at the 2017 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. (rtl.hr, 29 Jul 2017)
Injuries
He fractured a cheekbone in October 2019 and required surgery. He was out of competition for six weeks. (rtl.hr, 28 Jan 2019; 24sata.hr, 30 Oct 2019)

In 2018 he suffered a fractured finger in his right hand during a training session in Genoa, Italy. (totalinfo.hr, 01 Dec 2018)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Water polo is a way of life." (dnevnik.hr, 03 Aug 2014)
Awards and honours
He was named Best Goalkeeper of the 2019 World League Super Finals in Belgrade, Serbia. (fina.org, 23 Jun 2019)

He was chosen as Best Goalkeeper of the 2019 World League Europa Cup in Zagreb, Croatia. (fina.org, 07 Apr 2019)

In 2017 he was named Male Water Polo Player of the Year by the European Swimming Federation [LEN]. (swimswam.com, 22 Jan 2018)

Croatian publication 'Vecernji' named him Croatian Water Polo Player of the Year in 2016. He also won the 'Rudi Res' trophy in the same year for being judged Best Croatian Player. (dance.hr, 14 Feb 2017; vecernji.hr, 17 Dec 2016)

He was named Best Goalkeeper of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (dulist.hr, 24 Aug 2016)

He was named Best Goalkeeper of the 2015/16 Champions League. (hrt.hr, 05 Dec 2016; 24sata.hr, 04 Jun 2016)

He was named Best Goalkeeper of the 2013/14 Adriatic League. (dnevnik.hr, 03 Aug 2014)
Famous relatives
His father Maro played water polo at international level. Both father and son have served as captain of the VK Jug side in Croatia. (hrt.hr, 05 Dec 2016; dubrovniknet.hr, 10 Jan 2015)(dnevnik.hr, 03 Aug 2014)
Ambitions
To win a gold medal at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (hvs.hr, 26 Dec 2020)

 Competition Highlights
Olympic Games
Rank Year Venue Event Result
5 2021 Tokyo, JPN Team  
2 2016 Rio de Janeiro, BRA Team  
World Championship
Rank Year Venue Event Result
3 2019 Gwangju, KOR Team  
1 2017 Budapest, HUN Team  
2 2015 Kazan, RUS Team  
3 2013 Barcelona, ESP Team  
World Cup
Rank Year Venue Event Result
5 2018 Berlin, GER Team  
European Championship
Rank Year Venue Event Result
4 2020 Budapest, HUN Team  
3 2018 Barcelona, ESP Team  
7 2016 Belgrade, SRB Team  
5 2014 Budapest, HUN Team