Tonči Stipanović has won Croatia’s first ever sailing Olympic medal on Tuesday on the Pão de Açucar course in Rio…
An impressive performance over the last 10 days from Stipanović saw him clinch silver on Tuesday in the men’s laser (dinghy) medal race.
Stipanović, who went into the medal race with a handy 10 point lead, finished the race in last spot after incurring a penalty turn at the start leaving him far away from the field. Having to finish 5 places ahead of the Croatian, Australian Tom Burton done enough to make up the points by finishing the race third and claimed gold to leave Stipanović in second spot with silver. The medal is Croatia’s first ever Olympic sailing medal. Sam Meech from New Zealand won the bronze.
After claiming first place in the first race, Stipanović was impressive throughout the series of races over the last week. He lead the field for the majority of the event but in the end Burton managed to accumulate 75 points thanks to the final race, 2 points ahead of the Croatian who finished with 73.
“It is a nice feeling. It was a long journey from the first day. I know I have sailed a really good series, and it feels really good. It’s huge, this result is really huge. I think that I don’t fully understand what I have achieved yet, but it will sink in when I get home,” Stipanović said after guaranteeing himself a medal ahead of the final day.
Stipanović, who hails from the coastal city of Split and is a 4-time European champion, finished 4th in the Laser class at the 2012 Olympic Games.