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NOVINA Paula
Sport Para swimming
NPC Croatia   
GenderWomen
Age18
Place of BirthZagreb, CRO
Height1.62 m
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Cerebral Palsy
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
S8, SB8, SM8
Further Personal Information
Residence
Zagreb, CRO
Occupation
Athlete, Student
Languages
Croatian, English
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
She was introduced to the water as a baby, at five months old. She signed up to a swimming school in October 2010, and began competing in 2013.
Why this sport?
It was the first sport she tried and she enjoyed being in the water.
Club / Team
PK Natator: Zagreb, CRO
Name of coach
Igor Berislavic [national], CRO; Ivan Johny Perzel
Senior International Debut
Year
2018
Competing for
Croatia
General Interest
Hobbies
Spending time with friends, reading. (Athlete, 12 Sep 2019)
Memorable sporting achievement
Setting a Croatian national record in the SB8 100m breaststroke at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (tportal.hr, 26 Aug 2021)
Most influential person in career
Croatian Para swimmer Mihovil Spanja, and her mother. (Athlete, 12 Sep 2019)
Hero / Idol
Croatian Para swimmer Mihovil Spanja. (Athlete, 12 Sep 2019)
Injuries
In March 2021 she missed the Croatian national championships due to injury. (Plivacki klub Natator Facebook page, 26 Mar 2021)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"The best project you'll ever work on is you." (Instagram profile, 30 Jul 2019)
Awards and honours
In 2018 and 2019 she was named the Most Successful Female Athlete by the Croatian Para Swimming Federation. (natator.hr, 01 Feb 2020)

She was named the 2014 Sporting Hope by the Croatian Paralympic Committee [HPO]. (natator.hr, 01 Feb 2020)
Milestones
At age 17, she was the youngest athlete to represent Croatia at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (tportal.hr, 26 Aug 2021; SportsDeskOnline, 20 May 2022)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2022 World Championships in Madeira, Portugal. (Plivacki klub Natator Facebook page, 02 May 2022)
Impairment
She was born with spastic hemiparesis, which results in the muscles on one side of the body being in a constant state of contraction. (Athlete, 13 Aug 2018)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games
Rank Year Event Result
9 2021 100m Breaststroke SB8 1:31.62
World Championships (Overall)
Rank Year Event Result
Heats 2019 100m Breaststroke SB8 1:37.83
Heats 2022 100m Freestyle S8 1:14.63
6 2022 50m Freestyle S8 34.25
Heats 2022 100m Breaststroke SB8  DSQ
European Championships
Rank Year Event Result
5 2018 100m Breaststroke SB8 1:44.37
  2021 200m Individual Medley SM9  DSQ
12 2021 100m Freestyle S9 1:16.21
5 2021 100m Breaststroke SB8 1:33.19