During the 1960s, Šibenik boasted three highschool athletes, potential national team players (Siniša Belamarić, Krasnodar Rora and Marino Lemešić), who were so talented and versatile they could have picked the sport in which they wanted to make the national team. Rora and Lemešić opted for football, and Belamarić chose water polo, although he was the Croatian junior champion in the 100m backstroke, played basketball for Šibenik and played handball for Metalac, a Šibenik club. “The event that tipped the scale was the arrival of Toni Petrić from Split, who more or less guided me towards water polo and away from other sports. I was not quite fifteen when I started playing for the Šibenik first team with Mile Nakić, Ratko Karković and others.” Later it all went according to Toni’s predictions. All the first league teams, except for Mladost, took an interest in the top scorer of the Second League. “Partizan were the fastest and I liked the idea of training under the guidance of Bato Orlić. It was a time when a small Dalmatian colony had settled
Olympic Games in Mexico City. One European silver and two European and two World bronzes were not enough consolation, particularly because his Olympic performances (Munich, Montreal) had failed to quench his thirst for an Olympic medal. Fifth place was nothing to boast about in the former state. As a true athlete, he managed to stay for a full 23 years in senior water polo, with 258 matches for the national team. Sentimentality brought him back to where it all started, to Crnica in Šibenik. At the age of 37, he found himself in a team desperately trying to hold onto its First League status. For a short time, he was also the coach of the team from Šibenik, but then he returned to Belgrade, where he had a family and a teaching position in the university. “During the 1990’s I spent eight years coaching in Kuwait. I must admit that my ambitions kept decreasing. Not only because of my age. I find it hard to find my place in modern water polo. There’s too much swimming and brute
rić Top-Scorer o f the 1973 W orld Championsh ip s Date of b
irth: Februar y 18 th, 1947 Place of birth : Šibenik Occupation: physical educ ation teache Playing care r er: 1962-1970 Šibenik; 1970 Solaris, Šiben -1 984 Partizan ik ; 1984-1985 Coaching ca reer: 1985-198 6 Solaris, Šib Trophies wit enik h the nation al team: – bronze at the 1973 Wor ld Champio – bronze at nships in Be the 1978 Wor lgrade ld Champio – silver at th ns hips in West e 1978 Europ Berlin ean Champio – bronze at nships in Jo the 1975 Euro nk oping pean Champ – bronze at ionships in Vi the 1979 Euro en na p ean Champio Trophies wit nships in Ba h the club: rc el ona – European Championshi p s: 1971, 1974 an – Yugoslav C d 1975 (Parti hampions: 19 zan) 71, 1974 and 1975 (Partiza n)
in Belgrade. Apart from me, Marović, Antunović, Rudić, Tedeschi, Nardelli, Nonković, Kašić were all playing in Partizan and Zvezda... Mladost sent an invitation a few years later, but the people from Partizan sensed they might lose me, so they offered me an apartment, which in a way tied me to Belgrade,” Siniša Belamarić Cimpre remembers. Siniša was a complete player – a fast swimmer, a good shot maker and a solid defensive player. He was an excellent scorer, almost preferring timely, accurate passes to goals. In the 1973 World Championships in Belgrade, he was the best scorer of the tournament. But good as he was, he will never stop regretting being left out, with Rudić, of the national team that went on to win the gold in 1968
force, not enough finesse and charm. You know, I played against water polo artists like Nardelli, Stanišić, Janković...” Belamarić says honestly. He has earned both his water polo and teaching retirement. He spends his retirement days in his native Šibenik and Belgrade where his children and grandchildren live. “I spend at least five months in my house in Šparadići near Šibenik, where my neighbor is Ante Žaja, the former Hajduk football player. To be honest, knowing that my children and grandchildren are crazy about Šibenik means more to me than all the medals and trophies, which I can’t even count,” says Siniša Belamarić Cimpre.
Croatian water polo federation monograph issued on the occasion of 100 years of water polo in Croatia.