AUGUST: SLOVAK athletes won one silver and three bronze medals at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, failing to fully meet the hopes pinned on them. But despite Slovak canoeists’ failure to defend their gold medals from previous Olympics, Slovakia demonstrated its continuing strength in shooting and white-water disciplines.
The silver for shooter Zuzana Štefečeková and bronze for shooter Danka Barteková came as positive surprises. On the other hand, their bronze medals left seasoned canoeists Michal Martikán and twins Pavol and Peter Hochschorner somewhat disappointed. Kayaker Jana Dukátová, who debuted at the 2012 Games, placed sixth. This means that, unlike in 2008, the Slovak team returned without a medal in women’s canoeing.
Štefečeková, who won silver in Beijing four years ago, finished second in the women’s trap shooting competition on August 4. She recorded a total of 93 points .
Shooter Danka Barte-ková, 27, for whom London was her first Olympics, won the first Olympic medal for Slovakia in London, a bronze, on only the second day of the games. Shooter Jozef Gönci, 38, for whom London was his fifth Olympics in a row, did not reach his personal target of finishing in at least 15th place in any discipline. He placed best in the men’s 10m air rifle and the 50m rifle 3 positions event, finishing 31st in both. For Gönci, the world’s best shooter at international competitions in 1998 and 1999, London marked the end of a successful career.