Saturday, 31 July 2021

Olympic Gold Medalists: Sinković Brothers Return to Zagreb, Announce Discipline Change

July 31, 2021 - The Sinković brothers return to Zagreb with Olympic gold medals, along with bronze medalist rower Damir Martin and the Croatia judo team. 

The Croatia rowing team, led by Olympic gold medalists Martin and Valent Sinković and bronze medalist Damir Martin, arrived at Zagreb Airport. The judo team led by the world champion Barbara Matić also arrived from Tokyo, reports

"I am sorry that we did not win a medal. I hope that our performances gave motivation to others to train better and stronger and that there will be more successful Games for us in Paris," said Matić, who finished in fifth place.

Damir Martin was the next to stand in front of the microphone, holding his bronze medal after an incredible finish.

"Thank you for the welcome and messages of support. This medal is dedicated to my immediate family who always stood by me, went through the ups and downs with me. In the final, I was even a little short of winning silver. I am overjoyed, satisfied, and glad that Paris is in three years and there could be something beautiful there too. I look forward to your support," Martin said.

"Thank you all for coming and supporting us. My brother Martin and I have been saying for years that we have great conditions, but we are trying to push Jarun for the next generations and make it a great place for all rowers for the next 30 years. We had support and we could work in peace. Only the two of us, the coach and our family know how difficult it was to change discipline. There were ups and downs. We will never perform in this discipline again. We are happy to return to our natural discipline. There was a wonderful atmosphere in Tokyo between us Croatian athletes, we support each other and there will be more medals," said Valent Sinković and thus confirmed their return to double sculls. 

"We have written history in world rowing. No one has ever done this. We have more fire in us to win great results," added Martin Sinković.

In the evening, three of the four tennis Olympic medalists will arrive from Tokyo. They are Olympic gold medalists Mate Pavić / Nikola Mektić and silver medalist Marin Čilić. Ivan Dodig will continue from Tokyo to the United States, where new appearances await him soon.

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Friday, 30 July 2021

Damir Martin Wins Olympic Rowing Bronze Medal in Tokyo!

July 30, 2021 - Damir Martin increases Croatia's medal count in Tokyo to 4 with an Olympic rowing bronze medal in single sculls!

Croatian rower Damir Martin won the bronze medal in single sculls at the Olympic Games in Tokyo! The gold was won by the Greek rower Stefanos Ntouskos, and the silver by Norwegian rower Kjetil Borch.

Martin paddled the final very tactically. In the middle of the race, he was about two seconds behind the leading trio, and alongside Ntouskos and Borch, Denmark's Sverri Nielsen was at the top. The situation was similar 500 meters before the finish. But in the very end, Nielsen started to give up, and Martin stepped up and passed the finish line 15 seconds before for another big medal.

It is the third Olympic medal for 33-year-old Martin, after the silver in the quadruple sculls from London in 2012 and the silver in the singles from Rio de Janeiro in 2016. He also has two world titles in the quadruple sculls (2010, 2013) and two European gold in singles (2015, 2016).

"This medal is not bronze; this is platinum for me," said Martin after winning the bronze medal.

"Jesus, it began with an emotionally and completely drained guy from Vukovar, who, after hip surgery and a long rehabilitation, was not considered a favorite for the finals, let alone a medal.

Thank you to my family, thank you to my coach Srećko Šuk who never gave up on me, and especially thank you to Pero Kuterovac, who was with me every time and pushed me. Thanks also to you media who have been with me in these five years when I couldn’t make it to the top," Martin began.

"This has been going on all five years, not just this race and everything going on around me. If the Olympics were last year, I would have performed, but it would have been more recreational. I had a bad start; by no means did I feel comfortable in this boat, and even after the quarterfinals, we made drastic changes to the boat, which is not normally done. Luckily, we set it up perfectly, but the start was awful. Halfway down the track, I told myself that if there was a photo finish, I knew where I had lost. In the end, I was very close to the Norwegian and another silver. But I won’t complain about the bronze. In fact, this is not bronze for me; this is platinum," Marin said. 

Source: HRT

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Thursday, 29 July 2021

Damir Martin into Olympic Single Sculls Rowing Final in Tokyo!

July 29,  2021 - Damir Martin has secured a spot in the Olympic single sculls rowing final in Tokyo! 

After winning the silver in single sculls from Rio de Janeiro in 2016, Croatian rower Damir Martin advanced to the final of the Olympic Games in Tokyo!

Martin took second place in his semifinal group behind the excellent Norwegian Kjetil Borch, and ahead of Lithuanian Mindaugas Grškonis.

Already after about 200 meters, Martin took second place. In the first pass he was 94 hundredths behind Borch, in the middle of the race he was 97 hundredths behind, and 500 meters before the finish 1.28 seconds. In the end, Borch was up 2.35 seconds. Martin's placement among the top six was never in question at any point.

With this success, Martin completed a great day for Croatia rowing in Tokyo. Earlier on Thursday, brothers Valent and Martin Sinković became Olympic champions in coxless pairs!

This is the third Olympic medal for the Sinković brothers in the third different discipline. In 2012, they won silver in the quadruple sculls in London, when Martin was also in the boat with them, and in 2016 in London, they won gold in the double sculls. 

Martin, Borch, and Grishkonis in the A final, which is scheduled on Friday at 2:45 am Croatian time, are joined by Greek rower Stefanos Ntoukousis, who achieved the best time in the semifinals, Dane Sverri Nielsen, and Russian Alexander Vyazovkin, while the big favorite German Oliver Zeidler was left without the final as he entered the finish line fourth.

"I am satisfied with my placement in the finals, but certainly not with rowing. I struggled with maintaining direction, the wind carried me to the buoys, and I dragged four or five. If it weren't for that, I would have managed to get the Norwegian rower with a minimum delay. I'm ready like a dragon. I've paddled a race like this, even though I was dragging buoys behind me. I am really ready," said Martin. 

Source: HRT

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Sunday, 25 July 2021

Croatia at Olympic Games: Rower Damir Martin into Semis!

July 25, 2021 - Rower Damir Martin won in his single scull quarterfinal group and advanced to the semifinals of the Olympic Games!

Martin completed the course in 7.17.71 minutes, leaving the Hungarian, Japanese, Peruvian, Czech, and Kazakh rowers behind by a minimum of seven seconds. In the last 500 meters, Damir practically rested and kept his strength for the semifinals, which are scheduled in three days, reports. HRT.

"I am satisfied with the race and I can say that everything went according to plan. I wanted to go at my maximum for the first 1500 meters to see how much I could and I did it the way I wanted. Now there will be a slightly longer break of two days, and the semifinals should start in three days. Bad weather is expected. The main goal is to recover well before the semi-finals because it will be a very difficult race," said Martin, who took silver at the Olympics in London and Rio de Janeiro.

"I go from race to race. I have one wish, and the current situation is good and I think I am going in the right direction to qualify for the finals. I do not deal with competition, I see that there are some surprises, but I do not have them and will not have them," concluded Damir.

Due to the announcement of a typhoon that could also affect the Sea Forest track in Tokyo Bay, the singles quarterfinal races were moved from Monday to Sunday, but that seemed to be in favor of our Olympian.

The weather forecast is closely monitored in the Olympic rowing program, new information arrives every six hours, so it is not possible to know for sure the date of Damir Martin's semifinal performance, but there is very little chance that it will be according to the original schedule - on Wednesday.

RESULTS, singles, quarterfinals, group 3: 1. DAMIR MARTIN (CRO) 7: 17.71, 2. Bendeguz Petervari-Molnar (MAĐ) 7: 24.63, 3. Ryuta Arakawa (JAP) 7: 26.04, 4. Alvaro Torres Masias (PER) 7: 31.85, 5. Jan Fleissner (CZECH) 7: 37.01, 6. Vladislav Yakovlev (KAZ) 7: 39.47.

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Thursday, 22 July 2021

From Water Polo to Rowing, Will Fitness Trainer Pero Kuterovac be Behind Croatia's Olympic Success?

July 22, 2021 - Fitness trainer Pero Kuterovac is known for bringing Olympic medals to Croatia. Will he do the same this year for Croatia water polo and rowing? 

Pero Kuterovac is a great strength for the Croatia water polo team - and his qualities in the fitness training of athletes are known outside of water polo. Pero Kuterovac was directly involved in three Croatia medals in Rio, including Damir Martin, who later, according to one study, was the most prepared athlete in Rio. He also worked with boxer Filip Hrgović, reports Sportske Novosti

For Tokyo, Kuterovac is again involved in three sports, and only one change has occurred.

"Yes, I worked with water polo players again, as well as with Damir Martin, but now swimming is the third sport because I worked with swimmer Nikola Miljanić before Tokyo."

Before the Games, Kuterovac advocates the thesis that the best results will be achieved by those who are the best to adapt to the unusual circumstances and all that they bring in terms of compliance.

"It will be something we are not used to. Admittedly, behind all of us is a season in which we learned what it means to be in a bubble, under measures. However, our mentality does not allow some prohibitions. We are all professionals, and we will do it all. But when the Chinese are told they have to sit there for three days, they sit and do not move. With us, it's a little harder. However, there is too much in the game; these are the Olympic Games, for which water polo players have been preparing painstakingly hard. Just take that we spent seven weeks in preparation, there was so much torment and tears, but we knew why we were doing all this. Now we are all a bit nervous and crazy, but we will channel everything, endure everything, arm ourselves with nerves because we have a big goal ahead of us."

Kuterovac has experience with athletes from different sports. Can he say firsthand how much harder it is for water polo players to prepare for a big competition than others?

"Water polo is the most demanding team sport. First, there is the highest energy consumption, then everything takes place in water, and this is not a medium that is specific to man, and thirdly, there is a lot more to train here than with land sports. In some shock microcycles, we now know how to train for eight hours a day. First, there was gym, swimming, then water polo. It’s challenging, difficult, but there’s a goal above all; it's the biggest motivator for a serious athlete. It was not difficult for me to motivate them to work; they did everything to the maximum. I am delighted that no one had any problems with injuries, and I take credit for that because we worked very hard on prevention. Athletes don’t like to do prevention, those stupid and boring things, but I insist on that. Every lost day due to stretching can be disastrous for our ultimate goal. And that is always a medal for us."

What secrets does Pero Kuterovac use in working with the best athletes?

"I'm a little different than everyone here. I’m quite talented; I’d say creative in manipulating people; I get into their heads easily. For example, Andro Bušlje and Maro Joković are here with about fifty medals won. Still, with them, it is the same as when I work individually, for example, with Bojan Bogdanović, who earns a lot of money. And that makes me successful because emotional and social intelligence at this level of sport is more important than anything. And I'm pretty good at it."

You mentioned Bušlje, Joković, Bogdanovć; they all turned 30. Do athletes work more when they are older than in their formative years?

"That's right, and that's, unfortunately, wrong. When they suffer an injury, they are cathartic. In general, the body is such that when you are younger, you recover faster; you can not sleep all night and train normally tomorrow. When you get to some more serious years, it’s different. Contrary to some books, I think the first threshold for that is 27 years, and then comes the threshold of 33, 34 years. So there are already some things to do more and in more detail, to take more care of recovery, training planning is different."

Pero Kuterovac will be at his sixth Games in Tokyo. From Sydney until now, he has always been part of the Croatian delegation. How satisfied would he be with a medal in Tokyo?

"Somehow, I think there should not be less than five, and ideally, there should be eight. That’s my estimate, but I hope I made a mistake, and there will be ten like Rio. Five, I say, should be with us because we have some athletes who dominate, such as the Sinković brothers, Sandra Perković, and Tin Srbić. Something is always won in archery, now there is a chance in martial arts, and there is, of course, water polo. So five minimum, eight would be great."

And finally, what kind of Damir Martin can we expect in Tokyo?

"Damir had a severe hip injury; he was in surgery in Munich, after which it took nine months to recover. For him, the pandemic turned out well because if the Games had been as planned last year, he would not have been able to perform. Since January, he is completely ready in every segment; there is no pain, there are no obstacles. In some of our tests, he almost returned to the level he had in 2016 in strength, power, endurance, speed endurance. I am looking forward to Damir's performance, and I think it will be a very nice surprise."

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Saturday, 24 April 2021

Zagreb to Host 2021 World Rowing Cup for First Time!

April 24, 2021 - The 2021 World Rowing Cup will be held in Zagreb from April 30 to May 2 for the first time in history. 

Namely, the world's best rowers will gather at Zagreb's Jarun, led by Olympic, world, and European winners, brothers Martin and Valent Sinković in coxless pairs, and Olympic runner-up Damir Martin in singles.

Sisters Ivana and Josipa Jurković will also compete for Croatia in the coxless pairs, David Šain in singles, and Ivan Piton, Marko Ukropina, Anton, and Patrik Lončarić in the coxless four. 

This will be their first 'world appearance' at home, and they are proudly waiting for the arrival of their world competitors.

"This is an important moment for Croatian sports and rowing, since, after the reconstruction of the Jarun track, the possibility of holding the World Cup and bringing the world's best rowers to Zagreb became a reality. This competition not only promotes sports but is important for the overall promotion of Croatia and Zagreb as a historical and cultural center, tourist destination, and modern European metropolis," said the president of the Croatian Rowing Federation Branimir Basic.


Robert Anic / PIXSELL

Martin Sinković thanked the City of Zagreb for its support and the opportunity to compete with the best rowers in the world for the first time in history, hoping that the World Cup will be held in Zagreb in 2023, and in the future, perhaps the World Championship.

"We are happy to compete with the best world crews at home. Who knows, maybe in a few years, the world championship will be held on Jarun," said Martin Sinković.


Robert Anic / PIXSELL

Damir Martin pointed out that he has not the slightest doubt about the success of the upcoming competition.

"This is a really nice occasion. I have no doubts about the organization and everything needed because we have many years of experience in Zagreb and Croatian rowing behind us. This will be just one “day at the office” for the organization," the silver medalist from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics said.

Sisters Ivana and Josipa Jurković, who won fifth place in the coxless pairs, will also perform at Jarun.

"We are happy because this is the first time that such competition takes place in Croatia. We hope for a good result; unfortunately, because of the epidemiological situation, there will be no fans," said Ivana Jurković.

Patrik Lončarić, a representative of the coxless fours, also expressed satisfaction with the competition in Zagreb, hoping that a good result will make an additional step forward before the regatta that separates them from the final qualifying regatta for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.


Robert Anic / PIXSELL

"This is a big deal, the World Cup on Jarun. We have good rowers, and I hope we will do as well as possible and take another step forward."

Tomislav Družak, State Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, thanked and congratulated on behalf of the Government and the relevant ministry, all participants for their courage and determination to organize such an event in difficult pandemic conditions. He is sure that this will be a great overture for the upcoming competition in which some rowers will try to win a place at the Olympic Games.

Jelena Pavičić Vukičević, Deputy Mayor who is acting mayor, wished all athletes good health and much sporting success. She emphasized that the investment of 30 million kuna for the arrangement of the track itself will remain for this competition and for the generations to come and those who, perhaps thanks to this event, will love this sport and try rowing.

The Zagreb Tourist Board also supported the event.

"Sports events are one of the most important ambassadors of every country, and thus the city they are held. I am delighted that Zagreb is in these uncertain times, for the first time in history, hosting two major world sporting events - the World Rowing Cup and the World Rally Championship (WRC)," said director Martina Bienenfeld. 

The representative of WWF Adria, Ivana Korn Varga, emphasized the importance of water as a natural resource and as a basis for the preservation of freshwater ecosystems; cooperation was established between WWF and the World Rowing Federation, including the Croatian Rowing Federation. She wished good luck to the rowers and announced the nomination of the five-state UNESCO Mura Biosphere Reserve, the Drava Danube.


Robert Anic / PIXSELL

According to the guidelines for event management, the World Rowing Federation, the Croatian Rowing Federation, and the Olympic Committee have developed a COVID-19 protection plan for organizing sports events based on the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO).

The plan was carefully reviewed and approved by the Croatian Institute of Public Health and the Croatian Civil Protection Headquarters. The World Rowing Federation and the Olympic Committee are convinced that the measures planned to be implemented are appropriate to minimize the risk of transmission and infection at the event.

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Sunday, 12 May 2019

Damir Martin Wins First, Sinković Brothers Second at World Cup in Plovdiv

Damir Martin won first place in the single sculls at this year's World Cup rowing tournament in the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv.

Friday, 10 May 2019

Sinković Brothers Advance to Final of World Cup in Plovdiv!

Croatia’s champion rowers the Sinković brothers and Damir Martin kicked off this year's World Cup in the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv with victories. Martin and Valent Sinković have thus placed into Sunday's final in coxless pairs, while Martin has made it to the semifinal of single sculls.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Unbelievable! Damir Martin Wins The Silver At The Olympics Finishing Tied With The Winner

Damir Martin won the Olympic silver medal in single sculls, and the gold was just a few thousands of the second away

Friday, 12 August 2016

Damir Martin In The Finals Of The Olympic Single Scull

Croatian rower finished second in his semi-final group

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