In the preliminary race earlier in the week it had been a very close finish between four of the boats with only Russia off the pace. Italy had won. There was nothing in it at the start with all boats getting away well. Then Germany managed to earn a small edge and get to the first 500m marker in the lead. Italy had five members that had raced to gold in the coxed four and they were just a bit behind the fleet.

Germany, China and the United States went through the 1000m mark practically equal. Now China really began to move and they overtook Germany. The United States followed the Chinese example and tried to attack Germany. The Germans held on to second as the final sprint came into view. Italy went to 39 and then 40 to get into the action. China held on to the lead at 38. Germany was at 40. China had won. Germany held on to silver and Italy collected bronze to bring half of their boat back onto the medals dais.

Results: CHN, GER, ITA, USA, RUS

Jiayi Song (c), the People’s Republic of China, Gold
“The race was very good. After the test race the other day we didn’t change anything to our plan.”

Olivia Clotten, Germany, Silver
“We started really well today and we had a good middle, however, China is really strong. In total it was a great race and it’s been really fun racing here in Tokyo.”

Nadine Agyemang-Heard, Italy, Bronze
“We didn’t expect to do this well! We had two other races this morning. We never rowed this boat before this week.”

Re-watch the race here!