Michal Martikán

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Michal Martikán
Michal Martikán.jpg
Martikán in 2005 in Čunovo
Personal information
Nationality Slovak
Born (1979-05-18) 18 May 1979 (age 37)
Liptovský Mikuláš, Czechoslovakia
Height 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
Weight 74 kg (163 lb)
Website http://www.michalmartikan.sk
Sport
Country Slovakia
Sport Canoe slalom
Event(s) C-1
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.

Career[edit]

At the age of 16, Michal Martikán became the youngest winner of a World Cup slalom canoeing event.[1] 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.[2] 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.

He has also won the overall World Cup title five times (1998, 2000, 2001, 2006, 2014), which is a record among C-1 paddlers.

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[edit]

Season Date Venue Position Event
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

Manslaughter conviction[edit]

In November 1997 Martikán was involved in a car accident near the village of Velké Zálužie, Slovakia.[3] 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,[4] 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.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Seeing is believing for Slovakia's Martikan"Reuters. August 12, 2008. Retrieved 2011-10-04.
  2. ^ "GB's Florence claims canoe silver". BBC Sport. 2008-08-12. Retrieved 2008-08-13. 
  3. ^ "Olympic winner kills a pedestrian". The Slovak Spectator. December 4, 1997. Retrieved 2008-08-17. 
  4. ^ "Amnesties a relic of feudal powers". The Slovak Spectator. January 29, 2001. Retrieved 2008-08-17. 

External links[edit]

Olympic Games
Preceded by
Slavomír Kňazovický
Flagbearer for  Slovakia
Athens 2004
Succeeded by
Elena Kaliská