Zagreb - Alen Poljak, a 28-year-old man who participated in the Alka for the first time, on Sunday won the final event of the 302nd edition of this lancing three-day tournament in the town of Sinj in the Dalmatian hinterland.
At the start of the race, the Alka Duke Ante Vučić thanked all in attendance, including President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and other distinguished guests, for their support to this traditional annual event. The spectacle attracted several thousand people, including senior state officials, local government leaders, church dignitaries, foreign diplomats, and public figures.
The Sinjska Alka tournament commemorates a victory by 700 Croatian defenders of Sinj, about 30 kilometres inland from the southern coastal city of Split, against 60,000 Ottoman soldiers under Serasker Mehmed Pasha Ćelić on August 14, 1715. The final of this three-day competition is held on the first Sunday in August. The event features period-clad horsemen riding at full gallop and aiming their lances at an iron ring, called the alka, which is suspended from a rope above the race track.
The Sinjska Alka tournament was inscribed on UNESCO's world intangible cultural heritage list in 2010. (Hina)