Sinj – The 297th Knight’s Tournament of Sinjska Alka was held under the auspices of the President of the Republic Mr Ivo Josipović who congratulated the winner Alen Filipović Grčić on his first ever Alka victory. The winner’s qualities you demonstrated at the tournament are precisely those our country needs to fight the economic crises, the President said and, by tradition, handed the victor a golden ring with Croatian national arms and a sabre.
In his closing speech Mr Josipović reminded this year the Alka Tournament took place on the Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day and the Day of Croatian Defenders. No day would be more convenient for the Tournament to be held than the day of these national holidays. “In the righteous and defensive Homeland War we could recognize all the virtues our predecessors have been endowing us with for almost 300 years – honour, patriotism, justice, freedom and democracy”, he highlighted adding that for a long time now the Alka had been serving the purposes of peace and not those of war. These are the messages we want in our modern society, the messages because of which the Alka became part of the world cultural heritage, accentuated the President.
Beside the President of the Republic, Prime Minister Zoran Milanović, Croatian Parliament Deputy Speakers Josip Leko, Nenad Stazić and Tomislav Čuljak, First Deputy Prime Minister Radimir Čačić, many ministers, Church, Armed Forces and local governments’ representatives and, for the first time, the Turkish Ambassador to Croatia Mr Burak Ozugergin sat by the racecourse on which knights dressed in traditional costumes rode on horseback in full gallop, trying to thrust with a lance a ring (alka) hanging from a wire. The Alka Tournament takes place every year on the first Sunday in August to commemorate the victory over the Ottoman army in 1715.