TOKYO (VG) The medal hunt for Kristoffer Brun (33) and Are Strandli (32) came to a dramatic halt. The duo ended up in the water about 250 meters from the finish.
1 of 6Photo: Bjorn Steinar Delebekk
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– It’s completely unreal. It’s a nightmare we don’t wake up from, Strandli tells reporters in Tokyo after the brutal recession.
– The most absurd moment of my life. It’s absolutely terrible that it happens in an Olympic semi-final, says Brun with his forearm in a cast after the rollover.
– Absolutely cruel. We are well positioned and then we turn around a bit, I lose the paddle, we can’t start over and then it just cuts right into the water. Suddenly we are in the water in the finals of the Olympic semi-finals, Strandli describes.
Brun and Strandli appeared to be in control in the semi-finals in light double sculls. They were number two the whole way, but just over 250 meters before the finish, it went completely wrong with the strong wind. The boat capsized and the rowers ended up in the water.
– There are no words for how this feels. Something like this has never happened to me, says Strandli, who is preparing for the Olympics.
The director of the national team, Johan Flodin, saw the overturn from an accompanying car. Explain that a mistake was made and that the boat stopped. When they were about to start again, the oars crossed and pushed the boat. Strandli lost the years.
– Sorry, says Strandli.
– That’s not how it works. We are a team, Brun says with tears in his eyes.
– It feels surreal. This is difficult to swallow. We had a fantastic race and it is bitter that it ends like this. But I have my best friend, says Brun.
Tufte cries after his last Olympics: – This hurts a little more
Strandli was picked up from the water by a safety boat, while Brun carried Norway’s boat alone to the finish, about six minutes behind the other five nations.
– It was not very big to say, says Strandli about what they see in the water.
In the official lists, it is currently indicated that Norway is ready for the final B on Thursday.
– It’s still so “horrible”. So unrealistic. I still don’t fully understand that this has happened. It was shocking, Flodin says.
– It was painful and very bad to receive the boys on the dock. We’ve been through quite a long process and then this happens, Flodin continues.
The coach of the national team, Kjetil Undset, thinks it is tragic that something like this happens in an Olympic semi-final, in what is the last competition of Brun and Strandli together.
– It’s crazy. I’ve never seen anything like it, says Undset.
Strandli had to take a break when the Olympics were postponed last year. In the end, he decided to bet on the games exhibited in Tokyo.
– It was anything but an easy trip. But we have managed to get in shape and have it in our hollow hand. And then this happens here. Suddenly we are thrown in the water, he says.
– I’m so sorry on behalf of Kristoffer and the whole team, says and summarizes:
– There are no words for how painful it feels, he says and adds that “it will be hard to get out of this here.”
Germany (Jonathan Rommelmann and Jason Osborne) had a solid lead early on and were superior in the semi-finals. Uruguay and the Czech Republic followed in the places behind and are in the final.
As the boat was rowing over the finish line, Norway, according to Flodin, received an official confirmation that they will row in final B (for 7-12) on Thursday night. But it’s unclear if the duo will perform.
– We’ll see you in a few hours, says Are Strandli. He is fully aware that it is over after Tokyo anyway.
– I will not row another meter in my life, he assures behind the nozzle.
Brun and Strandli to Olympic semi-finals: thrown after victory
The Games had previously identified four boats as favorites to compete for the medals in Tokyo: Norway, Germany, Italy and Ireland.
The duo won Olympic bronze in Rio in 2016, while they finished ninth in London in 2012. Strandli and Brun became world champions in 2013 and European champions in 2018.
In addition to sports, Strandli works as a journalist at Finansavisen, while Brun is a builder, but is expanding his education to become an architect.
P.S! Early evening through Wednesday, Olaf Tufte did his last Olympic career. It was the ninth place.