Great Britain enjoyed a golden finale to the Rio 2016 rowing regatta as the men’s eight won gold in dominant fashion.
The celebrations following Team GB’s first-ever Olympic medal in the women’s eight had barely subsided by the time the men’s crew took to the water.
Scott Durant, York University graduate Tom Ransley, Hebden’s Andrew T Hodge, Matt Gotrel, Pete Reed, Leeds’s Paul Bennett, Matt Langridge, William Satch and cox Phelan Hill produced an exceptional race, following up the women’s silver by topping the podium in the final race at the Lagoa.
It was Britain’s first gold in the event since Sydney 2000 and was thoroughly deserved after a storming start to the race.
Germany were unable to claw back the leaders, finishing 1.33 seconds behind to the delight of the strong British contingent in the crowd.
It marked quite the Olympic debut for Bennett, Durant and Gotrel, while Langridge, Ransley and Hill upgraded on their men’s eight bronze from London 2012.
Reed and Hodge won gold at a third straight Games having helped the men’s four triumph in the last two Olympics, while Satch added to the men’s pair bronze won four years ago.
Hill, speaking to BBC One, said: “That was fantastic, absolutely fantastic. It was so different to four years ago.
“Today we controlled it from the start. Today was about delivery and doing what we have done. These guys are absolute gladiators today.”
Reed added: “I’ve never been so ready for an Olympic Games before. It’s such a great bunch of guys and that was a big, big race. I’m speechless.”
And Great Britain won their first Olympic medal in the women’s eight after a late surge secured silver at Rio 2016. On a stunning final morning of the rowing regatta, the British octet’s fine race brought with it a deserved podium finish.
Katie Greves, Melanie Wilson, Frances Houghton, Polly Swann, Jessica Eddie, Olivia Carnegie-Brown, Karen Bennett, Northallerton’s Zoe Lee and cox Zoe de Toledo crossed the line in six minutes 3.98 seconds - just 0.12 seconds ahead of bronze medallists Romania.