At the end of the Tokyo 2020 regatta, New Zealand won two titles while Greece’s Stefanos Ntouskos won the men’s single sculls in a stunning upset.
S. Ntouskos Olympic Games Tokyo 2020: Two-Time World Champion
The Greek rower defeated the two-time defending world champion from Norway, Kjetil Borch, to create a new Olympic record of 6 minutes, 40.45 seconds, nearly a second faster than the previous best achieved by the New Zealander Mahé Drysdale.
For Ntouskos, who didn’t even make the finals at the 2019 World Championships and finished fourth at the European Championships this year, this is an unbelievable victory.
The 24-year-old won the double sculls gold medal at the 2018 Mediterranean Games, making that victory his most significant prior to the Olympic gold.
He had the quickest time in the semi-finals, 6:41.62, and then shaved off over a second in the final.
Winner of the double sculls world title in 2013 and the single sculls world title in 2018, Borch was the heavy favourite to win again.
The bronze medalist in the double sculls from Rio 2016 couldn’t catch Ntouskos, who had pulled ahead by the 500-meter mark and then accelerated.
Bronze was to Croatia’s Damir Martin (6:42.58), silver to Borch (6:41.66), and fourth to Denmark’s Sverri Sandberg Nielsen (6:42.73).
Additionally, Ntouskos had raced in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in the men’s lightweight coxless four, where he had placed in the top six.
Ntouskos performed a stunning Olympic upset, clocking in at a new Olympic record time of 6 minutes, 40.45 seconds. Silver went to Norwegian Kjetil Borch, who came in only a second behind Ntouskos, and bronze to Croatian Martin Damir, who finished behind Borch.
In the third quarter, Ntouskos took the lead and never looked back, maintaining his speed for the remaining 250 metres to set a new Olympic record in the men’s single sculls.
Stefanos Ntoukos Announces a New Era for Greek, Olympic Rowing
Ntouskos produced an Olympic best time to take the gold on Friday, as the last day of Olympic rowing got off to a rollicking start at Tokyo’s Sea Forest Waterway.
Despite finishing 11th at the 2019 World Championships, Ntouskos stunned a strong field to win the men’s event in 6:40.45. He took the lead around the halfway point and never looked back, while silver medalist Kjetil Borch of Norway and bronze medalist Damir Martin of Croatia were no match for his strength.
Ntouskos rowed in a lightweight quadruple sculls boat until 2019, when he made the transfer to the single and says the extra year of preparation due to the pandemic delay helped him prepare. Thanks for reading S. Ntouskos Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.