The Croatian Olympic team returned from Rio with an impressive five gold medals, a record-breaking haul, and there still might be one more to come…
President of the Croatian Olympic Committee (HOO), Zlatko Mateša, has said in an interview on Nova TV last night that there was still hope that rower Damir Martin, who finished his men’s 2000m single sculls final with the exact time as gold medal winner Mahe Drysdale from Zealand, could still be awarded a gold medal.
The Croatian and Kiwi raced what will go down as the closet rowing race in history in Rio, with defending Olympic champion Drysdale awarded the gold after TV stations initially awarded Martin 1st place. Both rowers stopped the clock at 6 minutes 41.34 seconds at the finish line, but a photo-finish ruled that the Kiwi won the men’s single sculls by seven one thousandths of a second leaving Martin with the silver medal.
HOO President Mateša explained the appeal in what he called the ‘unbelievable case of Damir Martin’ in an interview on Tuesday evening.
“The matter lies within the jurisdiction of the Croatian Rowing Federation. They have formed an expert group to see which elements we can appeal and then we will if there is enough reason to go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). As soon as the Expert Group is willing to express their opinions, we will then know how we will react,” Mateša told Nova TV.
To recap, in Rio after the race the Croatian Olympic Committee launched an appeal, addressing the President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, and the President of the International Rowing Federation, Jean-Christophe Rolland.
“With photo finishes there are always a number of photos from different fractions of time, but they are only constantly showing us only one,” Mateša said in Rio.
It is not uncommon for gold medals to be shared when official race times are clocked exactly the same.