ZORAN JANKOVIC (YUG)
2004 Honor Water Polo Player
FOR THE RECORD: 1964 OLYMPIC GAMES: silver; 1968 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold; 1967 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS: bronze; 1970 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS: bronze; 1963 MEDITERRANEAN GAMES: silver; 1967 MEDITERRANEAN GAMES: gold; 1961 UNIVERSITY GAMES: gold; 1963, 1965, 1966, 1970 EUROPEAN CUP: gold; 1971 Jadran Cup: silver; 1972 TUNGSRAM CUP: silver; 1964 MERITORIOUS SPORTSMAN OF YUGOSLAVIA.
Zoran Jankovic was born on January 8, 1940, in the town of Zenica in the former Yugoslav Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He became a swimmer at an early age and was a youth swimming champion of the former Yugoslav Republic of Croatia.
He started playing water polo in Zagreb, the capitol of Croatia. At the age of 21, in 1961, he moved to the city of Belgrade, capitol of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and became a member of the Water Polo Club, Partizan. He was a dominant player for his club and together with Hall of Fame teammate Mirko Sandic, Jankovic helped his team win six National Championships, four National Cups and four European Club Championships.
He competed for a decade on the National Water Polo Team of Yugoslavia. In 1961, the team won the gold medal at the University Games and two years later at the Mediterranean Games they won the silver. At the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, his team won the silver medal just behind a strong team from Hungary. Jankovic was awarded the Meritorious Sportsman of Yugoslavia Award for 1964.
At the 1966 European Championships, his team won the bronze medal behind the Russian and East German teams, but at the 1967 Mediterranean Games they won the gold. Then at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games, the Yugoslav team won the gold medal, defeating both the Russian and Hungarian teams. Jankovic continued competing a few more years, and in 1970, in Barcelona, he again won the European Championships bronze medal, this time behind the Russian and Hungarian teams.
As a member of the National Water Polo Team of Yugoslavia, Jankovic played in 221 games scoring 259 goals. He was voted best player at many tournaments.
Zoran Jankovic died on May 25, 2002.