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Rio Olympics 2016: Šime Fantela & Igor Marenić Win Sailing Gold for Croatia

Šime Fantela & Igor Marenić in action in Rio (photo credit: EXPA/ Johann Groder)

Šime Fantela & Igor Marenić in action in Rio (photo credit: EXPA/ Johann Groder)

Croatia has won another medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic sailing competition, this time gold!

Skipper Šime Fantela (30) and crew Igor Marenić (30) have claimed Croatia’s first ever Olympic sailing gold medal on Guanabara Bay in Rio on Thursday afternoon in the men’s two person dinghy – 470 event.

The Croatian sailors had an incredible week out on the water in tough conditions, and earned themselves an 11-point lead, and an assured medal, going into the final medal race. After a lack of wind forced the postponement of the race on Wednesday, Fantela and Marenić went into the race today with a handy cushion ahead of Greek pair Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis, and had to make sure the Greeks did not finish 6 places ahead or that the Australians finished 7 places ahead.

The Croatians did not make any major mistakes and raced excellent tactically in the final race to hold on to their advantage to win an historic gold for Croatia. Australia took silver, whilst the Greeks won bronze.

The Olympic gold medal is one better than the pair’s gold medal they won at the 470 World Championships in 2009 when they became the first Croatians to win gold medal at the ISAF World Championships.

Fantela and Marenić, who are from Zadar and the island of Cres in Croatia respectively, were competing in Rio at their third Olympic games. In 2008 the pair finished 9th, whilst in 2012 in London they finished in 6th place.

On Tuesday Tonči Stipanović won Croatia’s first ever Olympic sailing medal when he won silver in the men’s laser – dinghy event.

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