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Medal rush continues as Team GB’s rowers win bronze in the men’s eight

Written by on 30/07/2021

Team GB’s rowers have picked up a bronze in the men’s eight, extending Britain’s medal haul at the Tokyo Olympics.

The team – Josh Bugajski, Jacob Dawson, Tom George, Mohamed Sbihi, Charles Elwes, Oliver Wynne-Griffith, James Rudkin, Henry Fieldman, and Tom Ford – were not considered medal favourites ahead of the race and finished behind New Zealand and Germany.

However, the medal is Britain’s second in the Tokyo Olympics rowing regatta after a silver in the men’s quadruple sculls on Wednesday.

It came after earlier success for Team GB in the pool, with medals for swimmers Duncan Scott and Luke Greenbank.

Scott won the silver medal in the 200m individual medley and Greenbank won the bronze medal in the men’s 200m backstroke.

The 24-year-old already had a gold medal from the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay and a silver medal in the individual discipline.

Luke Greenbank qualified second fastest to reach the final. Pic: Pic: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Image: Luke Greenbank qualified second-fastest to reach the 200m backstroke final. Pic: Pic: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Swimming - Men's 200m Backstroke - Medal Ceremony - Tokyo Aquatics Centre - Tokyo, Japan - July 30, 2021. Evgeny Rylov of the Russian Olympic Committee, Ryan Murphy of the United States and Luke Greenbank of Britain pose on the podium with the gold, silver and bronze medal respectively REUTERS/Marko Djurica
Image: Backstrokers Evgeny Rylov of the Russian Olympic Committee, Ryan Murphy of the United States and Luke Greenbank of Britain

He was in fifth place heading into the medley’s final 50m on Friday morning, but he found another gear to power into second place, finishing just 0.28 seconds behind Shun Wang of China.

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Scott told the BBC: “It was always going to be tight, it was always going to be exciting.

“I’m really happy with the swim. It just wasn’t quite there.”

Greenbank had qualified second fastest the morning’s final and started well, sitting just behind Evgeny Rylov of the Russian Olympic Committee after the first length.

By the halfway point, Greenbank had been overtaken by American Ryan Murphy but he managed to hang on for third place with a finishing time of one minute and 54.72 seconds – just 1.45s behind gold medallist Rylov.

Greenbank, 23, told the BBC: “It’s amazing. A dream come true. I’m so happy and over the moon.

“My first memory of swimming is watching the Beijing Olympics.

“It has always been a life ambition of mine so to come away with a medal, an individual medal as well, is absolutely amazing.”

A little earlier, there was disappointment for Team GB rower Vicky Thornley, who agonisingly missed out on a medal in the women’s single sculls at the Sea Forest Waterway.

She lost out on bronze to Austria’s Magdalena Lobnig – and had been bidding for a second Olympic medal after winning double sculls silver alongside Dame Katherine Grainger in Rio five years ago.

New Zealand’s Emma Twigg won the gold medal.

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Thornley said: “Fourth is tough, but I don’t think I could have done any more, especially in the second half of the race.

“I didn’t have quite enough at the end, but I am proud of what I have delivered over the last eight days. There have been some hellish days, especially the three days waiting for the semi-final.

“The last five years have been incredible – some of my darkest days and some of my best days. I am proud of the race I put together.

“I thought I had the momentum, but I didn’t have quite enough.”

Dina Asher-Smith, of Britain, gestures ahead of her heat of the women's 100-meters at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 30, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Image: Dina Asher-Smith ahead of her heat of the women’s 100 metres. Pic: AP

In athletics, Team GB’s Dina Asher-Smith qualified for the 100 metres semi-finals after clocking 11.07 seconds in heat one.

Asher-Smith, who qualified joint 11th fastest for Saturday’s semi-finals, said: “I do have another level – of course I do, it’s an Olympics.

“To be honest today was just about making it through to the next round safely at the same time as knowing I’ve got another level to give tomorrow, so I am really happy.

“You are trying to go and perform and do well. As an athlete you love a full stadium, you love spectators but at the same time it is what it is and you’ve still got the job to do.”

Team GB’s Daryll Neita ran a personal best of 10.96 seconds to qualify and Asha Philip also got through to the next stage.

Great Britain's Daryll Neita competes in the Women's 100m heats during the athletics at the Olympic Stadium on the seventh day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan. Picture date: Friday July 30, 2021.
Image: Great Britain’s Daryll Neita in the women’s 100m heat

In the 800m, Jemma Reekie made it through to the semi-finals after winning her heat in 1 minute 59.97 seconds.

Despite the impressive result, she said: “It wasn’t quite as I would have liked, I didn’t do what I wanted but I’m through and that’s the main thing”.

Jemma Reekie, of Britain, wins a heat in the women...s 800-meter run at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 30, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Image: Jemma Reekie wins a heat in the women’s 800 metres

Keely Hodgkinson managed to qualify as well, after finishing second in her heat in 2 minutes 0.159 seconds and Alex Bell finished fourth, reaching the semi-finals as one of the six fastest outside the automatic qualifiers.

In the high jump, Great Britain’s Tom Gale qualified for the final with a season’s best of 2.28m.

But Team GB missed out on a place in the discus final, after Lawrence Okoye recorded three no throws.

Lawrence Okoye, of Britain, competes in his heat of men...s discus throw at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 30, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Image: Lawrence Okoye, of Britain, competes in his heat of men’s discus. Pic: AP

Zak Seddon did not progress from his steeplechase heat to cap a nightmare Games.

He was one of six Team GB track and field athletes forced to self-isolate after being pinged as close contacts of an infected passenger on their flight to Tokyo.

He said: “It’s not been great and mentally it’s been hard here, there and everywhere. In this day and age that’s what sport is and some athletes are going to get easier rides than others but you have to deal with it.”

 Sky News

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