The Olympic Committee of Serbia celebrated the achievements of athletes and coaches in 2021 ©OCS

Karate star Jovana Preković and water polo player Filip Filipović scooped the top individual prizes at the Olympic Committee of Serbia's (OCS) end-of-year awards ceremony.

Filipović and Preković were named the most successful athletes in Serbia in 2021 in recognition of their gold medals won at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The prize caps a sensational year for Preković who was crowned European, world and Olympic champion in women’s under-61 kilograms kumite.

The 25-year-old was also one of Serbia's flagbearers at the Olympic Closing Ceremony in the Japanese capital.

"I want to thank all the people who contributed to my experience of this moment," said Preković.

"After the Olympic Games, it was very difficult to keep the focus, but I did my best and I managed to keep that focus and bring this year to an end the way I wanted."

This is the second time Filipović has received the award as he played a crucial role in the Serbian men's team's water polo success in Tokyo.

"I think we completed a fantastic story in Tokyo," said Filipović, who was also a Serbian flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony at Tokyo 2020.

"This generation succeeded with young forces, which few succeeded in doing.

"Thank God, the coaches and the professional staff who have endured us all these years.

"When the year ends like this, there is nothing to add."

Karate star Jovana Preković was crowned European, world and Olympic champion in 2021 ©OCS
Karate star Jovana Preković was crowned European, world and Olympic champion in 2021 ©OCS

Filipović's victorious side were also honoured by the OCS as they were crowned the most successful men’s team in Serbia for the 14th time.

"These successes we have achieved would not have been achieved if we did not function as a family," said Dušan Mandić, who is among the players who have own back-to-back Olympic titles.

"We are friends outside the pool above all, and that has been the case for many years."

The most successful women's team prize went to the volleyball side who claimed bronze at the Olympics in Tokyo.

Javelin thrower Adriana Vilagos, who became world junior champion and broke the age-group world record in the discipline, received the award for the most successful young athlete in Serbia.

"I am very happy and satisfied with the results so far and I hope that this is just the beginning of my career," said Vilagos.

"My big goal and plan is the Olympics."

Taekwondo trainer Dragan Gale Jović was named the most successful coach of Serbia for the third time.

OCS President Božidar Maljković hailed the success of athletes who overcame
OCS President Božidar Maljković hailed the success of athletes who overcame "uncertainty and unknowns" to win medals at Tokyo 2020 ©OCS

He was honoured in recognition for his efforts in helping Serbia claim two medals at the Olympics, with Milica Mandić capturing gold and Tijana Bogdanović earning bronze.

The final award of the night went to Dragan Gaga Radovanovic who was handed the Olympic Heart Trophy.

Gaga Radovanovic has been President of the OCS Medical Commission since 2005 and head of Serbia’s medical teams at several Olympic Games.

The OCS said Gaga Radovanovic was honoured because of his "comprehensive long-term engagement in sports".

OCS President Božidar Maljković addressed athletes and coaches and thanked them for their achievements at Tokyo 2020.

"In conditions of uncertainty and unknowns, our athletes achieved results that justified the image of the country of sports that our Serbia brings to the world," said Maljković.

"We returned from Tokyo with nine medals won, three of which were gold.

"In addition to the results achieved, I want to point out that we had one of the gender most balanced delegation in Japan."