Tina Erceg – Croatia
Tina Erceg (born May 3, 1988) is a Croatian international gymnast. The senior all-around National Champion in 2004 and 2005 and the winner of several medals on the World Cup circuit, Erceg is considered to be the Croatia’s most successful international gymnast. She is also the first, and to date the only, female gymnast ever to represent independent Croatia at the Olympic Games.
Early life and junior career
Erceg was born in Split, Croatia (then the SFRY) to parents Slobodan and Anda. She began gymnastics in 1995 at Kaštela Gymnastics, with coach Magda Miloševic-Ilic. In 1998, she followed coach Miloševic-Ilic to a new club, GK Marjan. The following year, she placed first in the all-around in the youth division at the Croatian National Championships in Zagreb. In 2000 Erceg won gold medals on the vault, balance beam and uneven bars in the youth division of the Croatian Nationals, and earned a place on the Croatian national junior team. In 2002, Erceg competed at the junior European Championships, where she placed 12th in the all-around final.
Erceg entered the senior ranks in 2003. She placed 112th in the all-around at the 2003 World Championships and did not qualify for the 2004 Olympics, but continued training. In 2004 she placed 14th in the all-around at the European Championships. Erceg won her first major international medal at the 2005 Maribor World Cup, where she placed second on floor exercise. At the 2006 Marbior World Cup, Erceg won two additional medals, a silver on the uneven bars and a bronze on vault.
In 2007, Erceg competed in the World Championships in Stuttgart, where she placed 69th in the all-around in the preliminary round of competition, earning herself an individual berth to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. She also competed at the 2007 World University Games, placing sixth on the floor in event finals.
In the spring of 2008 Erceg placed 16th in the all-around at the European Championships in Clermont-Ferrand. At the 2008 Olympics, she competed only in the team qualifying round, placing 13th on vault and 57th overall