Women’s Eight (W8+) – Olympic Final
This boat class has absolutely been dominated by the United States. Since winning the World Championships in 2006 the US has not lost a single race. This domination of a boat class puts them into history and a win at the Lagoa today would cement that position. The line-up included Great Britain going after their first Olympic medal in this boat class and Romania who dominated the eight through the 1990s and up to 2004. There was also New Zealand in this Olympic boat class for the first time and regular Olympic medallists Canada and the Netherlands. The first to show was the red boat of Canada. They held a 39 stroke rate through to the first 500m mark. The Netherlands who are not known for fast starts, was in second and the US in third.
Canada remained in the lead with the Netherlands now matching them stroke for stroke. Going through the middle of the race little more than two seconds separated the entire fleet with New Zealand and Romania within striking distance. Now the United States really began to pour on the power. The US are known to be incredibly physically strong and they now had a good lead. Canada was slipping back under pressure from Great Britain and Romania. There was nothing in it. The United States had done it again. Coxswain Katelin Snyder splashed the water in absolute delight. Great Britain had earned their first ever Olympic medal in this boat class. Romania had gotten back onto the medals podium. Perhaps the most excited were the Romanians. Their recent years of racing had not been so good, but today everything was put right.
Results: USA, GBR, ROU, NZL, CAN, NED
Katelin SNYDER (USA) – gold
“This is my first Olympic victory, so it feels pretty awesome.”
Kerry SIMMONDS (USA) – gold
“There was a lot of pressure, but I tried to keep thinking it as just another race. It’s so amazing. It’s electric.”
Jessica EDDIE (GBR) – silver
“It hasn’t sunk in yet. It’s a whole mix of what if. It’s not just the 9 of us, it’s 50-60 women that are there. We had all of the right tools in the box we just had to put it into place when it mattered. Zoe (de Toledo)? Later she’ll cry like a baby. In the boat she stays cool and collected.”
Ioana STRUNGARU (ROU) – bronze
“I am very very happy the bronze is like a gold medal because it’s like a dream. I am very proud of the medal. People didn’t think we could do it.”