So close! Croatian misses rowing gold by an inch

Silver medalist Damir Martin, of Croatia, right, reacts as gold medalist Mahe Drysdale, of New Zealand, rests after the men's rowing single sculls final during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016. Martin took the si
Luca Bruno

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) They rowed for two kilometers.

The gold medal came down to an inch.

New Zealand's Mahe Drysdale and Croatia's Damir Martin crossed the finish line in the men's single sculls side by side, not knowing which one of them was the new Olympic champion.

''We were sitting there. He looked at me and said, `What's the result?' I looked at him and I said: `I don't know.' It was an agonizing wait,'' said Drysdale. ''I'm happy I was on the right side of it but it could have gone either way.''

They finished the race in the same time to the hundredth of a second but a photo analysis showed the bow of Drysdale's boat was in front by 3 centimeters, or an inch.

The Croatian, who had never medaled in the event on the world stage, accepted the decision gracefully.

''I was happy when I realized I was second at the Olympic Games and my name is Damir Martin,'' he said. ''I gave 1,000 percent of myself in that race. It's my first (medal) in the single. I hope next one is another color.''

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