Tokyo, 30 July 2021 - Rower Damir Martin won a bronze medal in Single Sculls at the Tokyo Olympics in a new dramatic finish of the Olympic finals. The gold was surprisingly won by Greek Stefanos Ntouskos, and silver by experienced Norwegian Kjetil Borch.
One day before the race, Damir Martin said anything was possible, including a medal around his neck, if only the weather allows everyone equal conditions in the finals. The track was just a bit wavy, much calmer than during the the semifinals’ day. Damir Martin had a more reserved start, after passing half of the race he was around two seconds behind the leading trio - Greece's Ntouskos, Norway's Borch and Denmark’s Nielsen, and a similar situation repeated 500 meters before the finish line. But with another incredible Olympic finish, Damir Martin kicked up the notch, managed to "break" Nielsen and pass the finish line 15 hundredths of a second ahead of him.
It is the third Olympic medal for 33-year-old Martin, after silver in Quadruple Sculls at the London Olympics 2012 and legendary silver won in Single Sculls at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics 2016. He has also won two World Champion titles in Quadruple Sculls (in 2010 and in 2013) and two European gold medals in Single Sculls (in 2015 and in 2016).
He experienced his new Olympic medal quite emotionally, given how much effort he put into winning the same, beating thus all the injuries and bad luck that accompanied him.
- I am happy for being able to return to the elite in the right moment, at the very Olympics. The medal is here, it was all worth it. Congrats to everyone on a great race, worthy of the Olympic finals - said Damir Martin in his first impressions after the race.
His coach Srećko Šuk first commented on third place with an enigmatic question: "Are we satisfied with bronze?”
- Sure, it was important to win the medal, Damir deserved it with his efforts. Although, knowing his real possibilities, he is always close to something bigger – said Šuk.
With won bronze, Damir Martin started the Croatian medal harvest this Friday, which will be round up in the afternoon hours with gold and silver by tennis players in the Men's Doubles competition, for a total of six medals of our representatives in Tokyo (three gold, one silver and two bronze medals).
RESULTS, Final A of the Men’s Single Sculls: 1. Stefanos Ntouskos (GRE) 6:40.45, 2. Kjetil Borch (NOR) 6:41.66, 3. DAMIR MARTIN (CRO) 6:42.58, 4. Sverri Nielsen (DEN) 6:42.73, 5. Alexander Vyazovkin (ROC) 6:49.09, 6. Mindaugas Griškonis (LTU) 6:57.60.
President Zlatko Mateša and Secretary General Siniša Krajač of the Croatian Olympic Committee congratulated Damir Martin and his coach Srećko Šuk on winning the Olympic bronze:
Once again, you have surpassed yourself, achieved your goal and enriched your trophy collection with a new Olympic medal. Once again, you've made us proud and happy, especially knowing what a difficult journey you've been through in the pre-Olympic period. We believe that with your rowing skills you will give us many more pleasures. On behalf of the Croatian Olympic Family and on our own behalf, we congratulate you on winning the Olympic bronze medal in Single Sculls!