The Team GB Women’s Eight took silver on Saturday, coming in behind the pre-race favourites the United States, to add to Great Britain’s medal haul on Rio’s Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon.
The GB team overtook Canada in the closing stages but then had to fight off the surging Romanians to hang on to silver by just 12 hundredths of a second. The US won by 2.49sec.
Canada set the early pace and were in the lead at 500m with Great Britain, European title winners back in May, 2.3 seconds back in sixth. They then drifted to three seconds out but put in a storming final 500m. USA did too, though, and won the title for the third Olympics on the bounce. Canada having been in the medals all the way missed out as they came home fourth.
It has been a testing road to Rio for the women’s eight. At one point there was talk of double scullers Katherine Grainger and Vicky Thornley taking a place on their boat.
The medal will be particularly sweet for Fran Houghton, in her fifth Olympics, and while she was testing to see if she was good enough to remain in the eights, she also lost her father to cancer.
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