The sweep couple looked pretty good. Two instead of four oars, one for each brother, with a different rhythm for precision and teamwork.

Published: July 29, 2021 10:39 AM |

Last updated: July 29, 2021 10:39 AM

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Martin Sinkovic and Valent Sinkovic from Croatia celebrate after winning the gold medal in the men’s rowing pair final at the 2020 Olympic Summer Games. (Photo | AP)

TOKYO: The Croatian brothers Martin and Valent Sinkovic had won their country’s first Olympic gold rowing medal in the men’s double scull in Rio de Janeiro when they thought, “Hey, let’s try a new boat.”

The sweep pair looked pretty good. Two instead of four oars, one for each brother, with a different rhythm for precision and teamwork.

Five years later, the new boat achieved the same dominant result in the new games. The Sinkovic duo took the lead early and held an easy win in the men’s pair on the Sea Forest Waterway on Thursday.

Now that they have conquered two different boat classes – and won silver in the four-four in 2012 – they need them a new challenge. Or maybe even back to an old one: The double sculls could call them back next year, said Valent Sinkovic.

“The plan now is to rest,” said Valent, who at 32 is a year older than his brother. “We don’t do couples anymore. Five years is enough. We’re happy to close it … We’re better rowers. ”

As they stepped onto the podium, the brothers draped their gold medals on top of each other. Martin put him between his teeth first and then kissed him. They are the first men’s duo to win gold in the doubles and doubles. Kathleen Heddle and Marnie McBean from Canada did it in 1992 and 1996.

The duo had learned the couples quickly and won the 2019 world title. But Martin said the switch from the twos to a sweeper was a lot harder than it looked. “It was really difficult to adjust,” said Martin. “We had a lot of challenges. I think we did well psychologically. It helps that we are brothers because if we are not then I think we have a lot more struggles. I’m glad we made it … No more couples. “

The only question on Thursday was whether a strong break before the 1,000-meter mark was perhaps too early. The Romanian duo Marius Cozmiuc and Ciprian Tudosa kept the Croatians in sight, but were never able to pull half a boat length to the front before the silver medal.

“We implemented the plan exactly as we spoke with our coach,” said Valent. “We wanted to be really fast from 250 to 1,000 meters to see everyone. We knew that Romania would be our toughest competition. We just went for what they do. “

The Croatians were strongly favored and in their race Everything went according to plan. In the semifinals in the singles there were the biggest surprises of the day.

The defending champion Sanita Puspure from Ireland did not make it to the final on Friday when she lost fifth in the semifinals. 39-year-old Puspure won 2018 and 2019 world championship title un d 2019 and 2020 European championship titles. In the next women’s semifinals, Kara Kohler from the USA was fourth. The USA had won five silver medals in Olympic history.

In the men’s event, the reigning world and European champion Oliver Zeidler was eliminated from the final when he finished fourth in his semi-final.

In the other medal competitions On Thursday, New Zealand’s Grace Pendergrast and Kerri Gowler won gold in the women’s pair, the country’s first gold medal at the Tokyo Games. The Kiwis were only the third non-European team to win the Olympic event and the first since Australia in 1996.

The Irish duo Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan held a late attack from Germany’s Jonathan Rommelmann and Jason Osborne and won gold in the men’s lightweight double scull.

The Irishman was the favorite, having won the world title in 2019 and the European title in 2021. O’Donovan and his brother Gary won silver in Rio in 2016, Ireland’s first rowing medal.

Valentina Rodini and Federica Cesarini from Italy stormed the last 50 meters and grabbed the gold medal in the women’s lightweight as the Dutch team from Marieke Keizer and Ilse Paulis collapsed.

It was Italy’s first gold medal in women’s rowing and Cesarini knew exactly how to party the Tokyo way.

“First I eat a large portion of sushi, then I go to the restaurant Casa Italia, the place where the Italian team celebrates, “she said.

The Dutch boat had led almost the entire race, only to fall into third place in the last 20 meters than Laura Tarantola and Claire’s French team Bove won the silver medal. The Dutch team almost completely slipped out of the medals and made it onto the podium with just 0.01 seconds ahead of the podium.

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