Great Britain’s reign on the waters of the men’s coxless four came to a disappointing end as they finished outside the medals, before they then issued an apology to Italy for scuppering their chances at winning silver.
The Team GB quartet of Sholto Carnegie, Oliver Cook, Rory Gibbs and Matthew Rossiter were among the gold-medal favourites but they finished fourth.
It ends the British dominance in this event – having won gold at every Olympics since Sydney 2000.
Team GB’s Olympic dominance of the rowing men’s coxless four is over after finishing fourth
The gold-medal favourites of Oliver Cook, Matthew Rossiter, Rory Gibbs and Sholto Carnegie (L-R) endured a disappointing time on the waters on day five of the Tokyo Olympics
It ends the British grip on this event – having won every men’s coxless four since Sydney 2000
Things went bad to worse for Team GB as they steered into the Italian’s lane towards the end
As they began to lose the battle for bronze, the Brits failed to adjust their line across the water
As a result they veered into Italy’s lane – causing them to miss out on a potential silver medal
Australia took gold, Romania picked up the silver and Italy took bronze – but the latter have every right to feel hard done by as the British quartet nearly crashed into them during the end of the race, denying them the chance of a faring better.
Of the errant steering, Rossiter said: ‘We fully biffed into the Italians. They are pretty p****d off because maybe we cost them the silver and sorry to those guys.
‘It’s an outdoor sport and this stuff happens. It’s just heartbreaking when it’s you and not something on YouTube.’
Meanwhile, a tearful Cook took responsibility for their steering woes.
‘I do (have the steering),’ he said. ‘I need to diagnose it but I feel I screwed up a bit and as I was closing in at the end and taking big strokes at the end going for the line I forgot the steering and that’s what cost us to be honest, cost us a medal.
‘All I can say is thank you to everyone who stayed up to watch tonight and I’m really sorry we’re not coming back with something.’
Earlier, there was similar agony for the Team GB women’s four of Rowan McKellar, Harriet Taylor, Karen Bennett and Rebecca Shorten.
Team GB women’s four of Rowan McKellar, Harriet Taylor, Karen Bennett and Rebecca Shorten (L-R) also suffered the same fate as the men’s coxless four as they finished fourth
But their disappointment was joy for the Irish quartet of Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty, who won their country’s first medal of the Games by pipping the British women to bronze.
Australia claimed gold in another close finish ahead of Holland.
Graeme Thomas and John Collins narrowly missed out on a medal in the final of the men’s double sculls at Sea Forest Waterway.
The British duo pushed hard to catch China in bronze medal position over the final stages in breezy conditions but were unable to close the gap.
Gold went to French double Hugo Boucheron and Matthieu Androdias by just 0.2seconds from Holland.
Graeme Thomas (left) and John Collins also finished fourth in their men’s double sculls final
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