Tokyo 2020: Team GB win rowing silver in quad sculls after choppy morning on waters that saw them lose men's four crown
BRITAIN'S quad sculls rescued a silver after a shocking morning on the lake for Team GB's rowers.
Harry Leask, Angus Groom, Tom Barras and Jack Beaumont came second behind the Dutch team in the last of six finals on Wednesday.
Team GB had boats in four of them with real medal hopes – but things didn't go to plan.
Britain have dominated the men's coxless four in rowing at the past FIVE Olympics since Sir Steve Redgrave at Sydney 2000.
Yet the rich legacy had to end at some point and it happened here in Tokyo underneath the flight path – almost in disastrous fashion.
The crew of Oliver Cook, Matthew Rossiter, Rory Gibbs and Sholto Carnegie finished in fourth place.
The race was won by Australia in an Olympic best of 5:42.76 with Romania second and Italy third.
Yet the Brits almost crashed into the Italian crew in the closing stages and could have been disqualified.
Perhaps there was simply too much history and pressure on their shoulders in this end-of-an-era moment.
Some may say that the departure of Jurgen Grobler was the turning point.
The East German, 74, was the mastermind of the British Rowing programme but he left last summer even though it is understood he wanted to carry on until the 2021 Olympics.
Pre-race favourite Australia went hard from the start and Britain were fourth after 500m.
They managed to move into second for the halfway point but were 2.45 seconds behind the Aussies.
The gap closed at the 1500m mark to 1.62 seconds and this was a real war of attrition.
STORM CLOUDS OVER BRITS
James Cracknell, the two-time gold medallist, who is part of the event’s history questioned whether having four new Olympians was the wisest call.
The impact of Storm Departak had seen the rowing cancelled on Tuesday and most races shunted back by 24 hours.
This meant that on Wednesday morning there were six gold medals for grabs and Team GB had chances in four finals.
In the women’s coxless four, Rowan Mckellar, Harriet Taylor, Karen Bennett and Rebecca Shorten were in contention for the bronze with 500m left.
Yet the powerful Irish crew increased the power and overhauled the Brits to finish third behind Australia and Holland.
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In the men’s doubles sculls, Graeme Thomas and John Collins finished fourth.
The race was won by France in an Olympic best of 6:00.33 while Holland and China were second and third respectively.
But Britain's quadruple sculls team delivered a medal at least at the end of a choppy morning on the water.
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