Year in review: Serbian sport in 2014

In the year that is about to end, Serbia has had the world's top-ranking male tennis player and the best men's water polo team in the world.

Source: Tanjug

The country's athletes claimed many medals in swimming, athletics, kayaking and wrestling, "but the silver medal won by the Serbian men's national basketball team at the Mundobasket in Spain is what the nation will remember 2014 for," Tanjug said in its end of year review.

"For the first time in many years, entire Serbia was overwhelmed by feelings of trepidation after each shot attempted, rejoicing at each shot made and every brilliant move by the Serbian players, magnificently coached by Aleksandar Sasa Djordjevic, a celebrated former member of the national team," the news agency said.

The United States were the better team in the final and Serbia won the silver medal, but much more importantly, it once again has a team that is feared even by the very best and will go for the gold medal at EuroBasket 2015.

As a result, the men's national water polo team was unjustly overshadowed by the basketball team, despite winning the World League, the European championship and the FINA Cup.

Both national teams will be big hopefuls for their country at the Rio Olympic Games, as will Novak Djokovic, who ends 2014 as the world's best male tennis player.

Serbia's top-ranking male tennis player retained the number one spot with an unbelievable Wimbledon win over Roger Federer and subsequent brilliant performances in Paris and London. However, the Roland Garros title remains his dream following a defeat at the hands of the incredible Rafael Nadal in this year's final.

Serbia's highest-ranking female tennis player Ana Ivanovic won four WTA titles this year, making a return to the world's Top 10.

Swimmer Velimir Stjepanovic also achieved fantastic success by winning two gold medals at the European championships in Berlin, demonstrating that he is a true successor to Milorad Cavic, the best Serbian swimmer of all times.

Long jumper Ivana Spanovic won the silver medal at the European championships in Zurich and the bronze medal at the world indoor championships, with javelin thrower Tatjana Jelaca taking the silver in Zurich.

Davor Stefanek became the world wrestling champion, kayaker Nikolina Moldovan won a silver world championship medal, as well as a bronze medal with her sister Olivera, while Nebojsa Grujic and Marko Novakovic won a gold medal.

The Serbian shooters won several medals at the World Cup and the national shooting sports team won the European title, with Andrea Arsovic and Jasna Sekaric becoming the first athletes to secure their berths for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Of course, 2014 was not a year without disappointments in Serbian sport, the biggest one being the failure of the Serbian men's national football team in the EURO 2016 qualifications.

The unprecedented political provocation during the Serbia vs. Albania qualifying game in Belgrade, when a drone carrying a map of so-called Greater Albania - a nationalist project that includes parts of Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Greece - was flown over the stadium, also made it into the inglorious year-end review of Serbian football.

Unlike in the previous years, the men's and women's volleyball teams won no medals - despite failing to achieve glory at the European championship in Poland, the men still went down in history by playing hosts Poland in front of a record-breaking crowd of 61,500 people at the National Stadium in Warsaw.

After winning medals at the European and world championships in Belgrade, the men's handball team failed to qualify for the world championship in Qatar.

Mostly due to injuries, the women's handball team made a group stage exit at the European championship in Croatia, but remain contenders for an Olympic spot.


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