Croatia’s Tin Srbic: ‘I said to myself, ‘We go all in’’

Written by John Crumlish for International Gymnast Online

Thursday, September 2, 2021

With this vignette on horizontal bar silver medalist Tin Srbic of Croatia, International Gymnast Online continues “Tokyo Takeaways,” a series of flashbacks featuring behind-the-scenes quotes from personalities at the recent Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Croatian gymnast Tin Srbic’s fearless instinct prevailed as his risky last-second decision to bump up his difficulty score paid off in silver in the horizontal bar final.

Srbic, the 2017 world champion and 2019 world silver medalist on horizontal bar, was set to compete a 6.2 difficulty score until the moment before he mounted the apparatus as the sixth of eight competitors.

“Since the qualifications I planned to go for a stronger routine,” he said. “I wanted to go for 6.5 and I thought, ‘I won’t look at the others, I don’t care about the others, I am going all in.’ But I saw the other gymnasts falling down and making some mistakes. Then I saw 14.5(33) was the gold medal position (after the first five competitors). That is a score I could get even with a lower start value.”

The instant Srbic saluted the judges to start his routine, however, his competitive drive overpowered his calculated compromise.

“When I raised my arm and walked to the bar, I said to myself, ‘We go all in,’” he said.

Srbic made the most of his choice to perform a routine with a 6.5 difficulty score for a comfortable second-place finish (14.900), behind gold medalist Daiki Hashimoto of Japan (15.066) and ahead of bronze medalist Nikita Nagornyy of the Russian Olympic Committee (14.533).

Perplexed yet content, Srbic reflected on the relative significance of his achievement in Tokyo.

“When I landed I thought, ‘Is this real? Can it really be an Olympic medal?’” he said. “Just to make the (Olympic) final, in my head, was even more than becoming a world champion. And now I have a silver medal. I can’t even compare it to anything else.”

Next up: Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade on shining her way to all-around silver and vault gold

International Gymnast Media’s John Crumlish was a gymnastics reporter for the Olympic Information Service at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, responsible for obtaining quotes and producing other content for use by media at the Games. Tokyo 2020 marked his eighth Games as an OIS reporter.

More Gymnastics News: