Martikán in 2005 in Čunovo
18 May 1979 |
Liptovský Mikuláš, Czechoslovakia
|Height||1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)|
|Weight||74 kg (163 lb)|
|Club||Dukla Liptovský Mikuláš|
Michal Martikán (Slovak pronunciation: [ˈmixal ˈmartikaːn]; born 18 May 1979) is a Slovak slalom canoeist who has been competing since the mid-1990s. In 1996 he became the first athlete to win an Olympic Games gold medal for Slovakia since the country gained independence in 1993. In total he won 5 Olympic medals (2 golds, 2 silvers and 1 bronze), which is the most among all slalom paddlers. He has also won the World Championship title in the C-1 individual category four times. He is considered by many the greatest C-1 slalom paddler alive.
At the age of 16, Michal Martikán became the youngest winner of a World Cup slalom canoeing event. Three months later, at age 17, Martikán was in sixth place after the first run of the canoe slalom singles event at the 1996 Olympics. With nothing to lose, he went all out on the second run and just bettered the score of defending champion Lukáš Pollert of the Czech Republic. Martikán was the first Olympic champion to represent independent Slovakia. He entered the 2000 Olympics as the favourite, having consistently finished near the top in every major competition and in each World Cup series. At the Sydney Games, Martikán registered the best score in the qualifying round, but was only in fifth place after the first run of the final. In the second run, he paddled a perfect course and his time was the fastest of the round. He was able to move up to the silver medal position behind Tony Estanguet of France. Competing in his third Olympics in 2004, Martikán again led the qualifying round. He also earned the highest score in the semifinals, which also served as the first run of the final. After the second run, it appeared that Martikán had regained the Olympic title, but the referees controversially decided to award him a two-second penalty which pushed him to second place, only 12 hundredths of a second behind Estanguet. Martikán regained the Olympic title at the 2008 games in Beijing. At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London Martikán took bronze. Michal Martikán is the only slalom canoeist to win five Olympic medals, one in each of the five games from 1996 through 2012.
At the World Championships, Martikán had an uninterrupted medal run in the individual C-1 event between 1995 and 2010. The 2011 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships saw him finish outside the medals for the first time in an Olympic or World Championship individual race in his career. Ironically, this failure came in front of a home crowd on the Čunovo course near Bratislava. However, he managed to win gold in the team event with his Slovak teammates to prolong his medal run. He won another three gold medals in the C-1 team event between 2013 and 2015, making it 14 straight World Championships with a medal.
He won his first medals in 1995 when he was just 16. He took a bronze in the C-1 event and another bronze in the C-1 team event. In 1997 he won his first individual world title as well as team gold. He won the individual C-1 event on three more occasions (2002, 2003 and 2007). As of 2014 he has a total of 18 World Championship medals (11 golds, 3 silvers and 4 bronzes) which is more than any other slalom paddler in any category.
At the European Championships he has won four straight individual golds between 2007 and 2010. Slovakia won the C-1 team event 10 times with him in the team. He also has 5 silvers (4 individual and 1 in team event) and 1 bronze (in the team event).
World Cup individual podiums
|1995||2 Jul 1995||Tacen||2nd||C1|
|1996||21 Apr 1996||Ocoee||1st||C1|
|16 Jun 1996||Augsburg||3rd||C1|
|1997||6 Jul 1997||Bratislava||1st||C1|
|1998||21 Jun 1998||Tacen||1st||C1|
|28 Jun 1998||Augsburg||3rd||C1|
|13 Sep 1998||La Seu d'Urgell||1st||C1|
|1999||15 Aug 1999||Bratislava||3rd||C1|
|22 Aug 1999||Augsburg||1st||C1|
|3 Oct 1999||Penrith||2nd||C1|
|2000||30 Apr 2000||Penrith||1st||C1|
|9 Jul 2000||La Seu d'Urgell||1st||C1|
|30 Jul 2000||Augsburg||2nd||C1|
|2001||10 Jun 2001||Tacen||1st||C1|
|29 Jul 2001||Augsburg||3rd||C1|
|9 Sep 2001||Wausau||1st||C1|
|2002||21 Jul 2002||Augsburg||3rd||C1|
|28 Jul 2002||Tacen||1st||C1|
|2003||11 May 2003||Penrith||3rd||C1|
|6 Jul 2003||La Seu d'Urgell||1st||C1|
|3 Aug 2003||Bratislava||2nd||C1|
|2004||23 Apr 2004||Athens||2nd||C1|
|11 Jul 2004||Prague||3rd||C1|
|25 Jul 2004||Bourg St.-Maurice||3rd||C1|
|2005||1 Oct 2005||Penrith||3rd||C11|
|2006||28 May 2006||Athens||1st||C1|
|4 Jun 2006||Augsburg||2nd||C1|
|11 Jun 2006||La Seu d'Urgell||3rd||C1|
|2 Jul 2006||L'Argentière-la-Bessée||2nd||C12|
|6 Aug 2006||Prague||2nd||C11|
|2007||30 Jun 2007||Prague||2nd||C1|
|8 Jul 2007||Tacen||1st||C1|
|2008||16 Mar 2008||Penrith||1st||C13|
|2009||5 Jul 2009||Bratislava||1st||C1|
|2011||9 Jul 2011||Markkleeberg||1st||C1|
|2013||24 Aug 2013||Bratislava||1st||C1|
|2014||7 Jun 2014||Lee Valley||3rd||C1|
|14 Jun 2014||Tacen||2nd||C1|
|21 Jun 2014||Prague||1st||C1|
|2 Aug 2014||La Seu d'Urgell||3rd||C1|
|2015||4 Jul 2015||Liptovský Mikuláš||1st||C1|
1 World Championship counting for World Cup points
2 European Championship counting for World Cup points
3 Oceania Championship counting for World Cup points
In November 1997 Martikán was involved in a car accident near the village of Velké Zálužie, Slovakia. The car he was driving hit a pedestrian causing him fatal injuries. The investigation concluded that Martikán was traveling substantially over the 40 km/h speed limit. It was also found that the killed man was intoxicated at the time of the accident.
With Martikán facing actual incarceration due to the violation of his probation terms, then-president Rudolf Schuster, amid grave criticism, granted Martikán a presidential pardon, which besides sparing him from jail time effectively meant removal of the conviction from his criminal record. Schuster argued that Martikán's positive athletic representation of the country abroad warranted the pardon, while critics pointed to the double standard and the preferential treatment Martikán was receiving as a sport celebrity.
- "Seeing is believing for Slovakia's Martikan" – Reuters. August 12, 2008. Retrieved 2011-10-04.
- "GB's Florence claims canoe silver". BBC Sport. 2008-08-12. Retrieved 2008-08-13.
- "Olympic winner kills a pedestrian". The Slovak Spectator. December 4, 1997. Retrieved 2008-08-17.
- "Amnesties a relic of feudal powers". The Slovak Spectator. January 29, 2001. Retrieved 2008-08-17.
- Official website
- Michal Martikán at Sports Reference
- 2010 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships 12 September 2010 C-1 men's final results. – accessed 12 September 2010.
- 2010 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships 12 September 2010 C-1 men's team final results – accessed 12 September 2010.
- 12 September 2009 final results of the men's C-1 team slalom event for the 2009 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships. – accessed 12 September 2009.
- 13 September 2009 final results of the men's C-1 event at the 2009 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships. – accessed 13 September 2009.
- ICF medalists for Olympic and World Championships – Part 2: rest of flatwater (now sprint) and remaining canoeing disciplines: 1936–2007.
- Sports-reference.com profile
|Flagbearer for Slovakia