TOKYO (Reuters) – Croatian brothers Sankovic took the lead in the men’s duo and the strong New Zealand crew prevailed in the women’s competition as Olympic rowing continued on Thursday in Tokyo’s Sea Forest.
Martin Sinkovic and Valent Sinkovic, who won gold in the double rowing events in Rio and were world champions in 2018 and 2019 after taking on the crushing discipline, retired almost immediately to win in 6:15.29, 1.29 seconds ahead of the silver. Romania won the medals while Denmark took the bronze.
“We are scorers and it was a bit difficult to adapt,” Martin Senkovic said of the move to competition. “The duo is very special and we had a lot of challenges there. I think we manage it well, psychologically.”
Winning Wednesday’s semi-final in the world’s best time, Kiwis impressed Grace Prendergast and Keri Guler once again, overcoming a slow start and taking the lead shortly after halfway to win in 6:50.19, with ROC and Canada taking the silver And bronze. .
Tokyo Bay was once again hit by the winds and the heat continued to punish rivals, with temperatures nearing 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) on Thursday as the sun broke into first cloud cover.
Ireland put in an audacious performance to win the men’s light racquet when Rio silver medalist Paul O’Donovan and teammate Vintan McCarthy broke away from Germany and took to the field for the gold with a time of 6:06.43.
Italy ranked third by a large margin.
It was Ireland’s first Olympic gold since 2012 and the first ever in the sport.
Thursday’s medal competition ended in dramatic fashion as Italy claimed a stunning final ditch victory in the women’s lightweight rowing duo ahead of France and the Netherlands.
Italian Federica Cesarini, who also won the European Championship with teammate Valentina Rodini earlier this year, said she planned to celebrate with a “large portion of sushi”.
It’s a good feeling, hard to describe, but we wanted it, we looked for it and eventually we got it,” Cesarini, 24, said.
Great Britain lost the podium by a hundredth of a second.
TeamGB also finished fourth in the women’s duo, in a disappointing year due to the continued strength that has dominated the medal table in rowing in the last three games, but they have so far claimed silver in the men’s rowing quadruple championship.
They will hold two more Olympic gold medals on Friday, as two-time 2016 silver medalist Victoria Thornley sets her sights on the women’s singles rowing final, and her crew of eight will face the main competitor of Germany.
On Friday there will also be the highly anticipated eight rowboat finals and the men’s singles final, with the latter taking silver and bronze at the 2019 World Championships Sverre Nielsen of Denmark and Norway’s Ketil Porsche, respectively, and the silver to Rio. Damir Martin from Croatia.
Germany’s Oliver Zeidler, the world champion two years ago, missed the medal race after finishing fourth in Thursday’s semi-finals.
(Reporting by Amy Tenery in Tokyo; Editing by Stephen Coates, Peter Rutherford and Shree Navaratnam)
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