Team GB won a men’s quadruple sculls medal for the first time in Olympic history after coming home for silver for the first rowing medal of Tokyo 2020.
Harry Leask, Angus Groom, Tom Barras and Jack Beaumont held their nerve to make history on the Sea Forest Waterway, stopping the clock in 5:33.75 in one of the most dramatic races of the meet.
Gold went to the Netherlands while Australia won bronze, with they and fourth-place Poland within a second of the British boat.
The Team GB quartet produced a flying start from the unfavoured lane one and were rewarded for their bravery, going out hard and leading the race in the opening stages to earn their place on the podium.
The men’s quad sculls has been part of the Olympic regatta at every Games since first being introduced at Montreal 1976.
Jack Beaumont, 27, from Maidenhead, said: “It was wild out there. The conditions are rough, with a tailwind, but it’s what we’re used to back at home so we’ve trained in this so many times, it did not shake us.
“We decided that, as we were in lane one with an outside chance of a medal, we were going to take it to them and we really did it.
“I am so happy. It’s the first Olympic medal for our boat class in this country and we’re standing on the shoulders on loads of teammates before us. They helped us get here and it’s another step on our way to getting the gold.
“British men’s sculling can win medals now – we’re not in the background, we can do it.
“Thanks to everyone at home, to those who are crazy enough to be up in the middle of the night watching us.”
Angus Groom, 28, from Glasgow, said: “We just backed each other. We said that we wanted to push off and trust each other, trust everyone to do their jobs and we wanted to throw everything at it.
“The result would be the result, whether we came sixth or first. We came second, it was a perfect race for me to be honest.”
Harry Leask, 25, from Edinburgh, said: “I knew basically the whole way where we were, I had a pretty good view from where I was sitting of the whole race.
“We just did what we wanted to in that first half, we got out well and I was looking across and seeing us in a really good position.
“It was really encouraging and it just feels amazing.”
Tom Barras, 27, from Staines, said: “Speaking on behalf of all of us, I just want to say a huge thanks to our friends, to our family, the people who have been up watching us through the middle of the night.
“The whole of Team GB is absolutely amazing, this is for everyone.”