Greek rower Stefanos Ntouskos has clinched Greece’s first ever Olympic gold medal in the sport, breaking the Olympic record.
Ntouskos pulled a surprise victory in the men’s single sculls with a time of 6min 40.45sec, breaking the previous record of Mahe Drysdale of New Zealand (6:41.34 in the 2016 Rio di Janeiro Olympics) and defeating two time world champion Kjetil Borch.
It was Greece’s first medal in the Tokyo Olympics, and Greece’s fourth ever Olympics rowing medal.
“I don’t believe it. I really don’t. It was the best course, really. The weather helped me a lot. I felt extremely well during the course. My coach told me I should get a medal, to be in the top three. Between the 650th to 800th metre, I made a change and I didn’t believe I’d endure, but I very much wanted to win a medal. I never believed I’d get the gold,” Ntouskos said.
Borch won the silver medal with a time 06:41:66, and the bronze medal went to Croatian rower Damir Martin, with a time of 06:42:58.
The 24-year-old Ntouskos, a native of Ioannina, in the first 500 metres of the row was in fourth place but then picked up speed in the last kilometre.
In the 2016 Rio di Janeiro Olympics in the men’s lightweight coxless four, Ntouskos had finished in sixth place.