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KRALJ Darko
Sport Para athletics, Para powerlifting
NPC Croatia   
GenderMen
Age48
Place of BirthBjelovar, YUG
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Classification
F42
Further Personal Information
Family
Wife Terezija, sons Marko, Josip, Ivan
Residence
Bjelovar, CRO
Occupation
Farmer, Veteran
Languages
Croatian
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up para-athletics in 2005 in Bjelovar, Croatia.
Why this sport?
He was encouraged by Josip Silvar, a fellow para-athlete competing in shot put.
Club / Team
AKOI Otos Grubisno Polje: Croatia
Name of coach
Tomislav Kristicevic [national], CRO
Senior International Debut
Year
2004
Competing for
Croatia
Location
Netherlands
General Interest
Nicknames
The King (vecernji.hr, 31 Aug 2012)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning silver at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. (dnevnik.hr, 02 Sep 2012; (20minuta.hr, 03 Sep 2012)
Injuries
In November 2013 he underwent surgery on his arm, which he injured at the 2013 World Championships in Lyon, France. He returned to competition in 2015. (grubisnopolje.hr, 25 May 2015; balkans.aljazeera.net, 09 Nov 2013)

After the 2012 Paralympic Games in London he underwent surgery on his right knee. (in-portal.hr, 01 Jul 2013)
Awards and honours
He was named the Best Para-Athlete in Croatia of 2012. (novolist.ht, 07 Feb 2013)

He was Croatia's flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. (morethanthegames.co.uk, 31 Aug 2012)

In 2008 he was honoured with the Franjo Bucar State Award for Sport, which is the highest award that Croatia gives for sporting achievements. (vecernji.hr, 2012)
Impairment
In 1991 he had his left leg amputated above the knee after being wounded by shrapnel from a rocket while fighting in the conflicts that took place in former Yugoslavia. (Athlete, 04 Apr 2011, dejanacimovic.com, 06 Nov 2012; paraolimpijci.hr, 01 Sep 2012)
Other information
RETIREMENT AND COMEBACK
After the 2012 Paralympic Games in London he announced his retirement, in order to focus on coaching and support younger para-athletes. However in 2013 he was convinced to return by national coaches to compete in the world championships that year, where he sustained a serious arm injury. Due to the injury he retired again, until May 2015 when he made himself available once again for competition if national coaches decided that they needed him. (20minuta.hr, 03 Sep 2012; in-portal.hr, 01 Jul 2013; grubisnopolje.hr, 25 May 2015; objektivno.hr, 20 Sep 2014)

NATIONAL FIRST
His gold medal at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing made him the first Croatian Paralympic champion in any sport. (20minuta.hr, 10 Sep 2008)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games - Para athletics
Rank Year Event Result
1 2008 Shot Put F42 14.43
2 2012 Shot Put F42/44 14.21
World Championships - Para athletics
Rank Year Event Result
5 2006 Shot Put F42 12.23
2 2011 Shot Put F42 14.00
3 2013 Shot Put F42 13.20