South Africa powered to victory in the men's lightweight four final today, holding off favourites Britain and Denmark in a thrilling sprint for the line to win the country's first Olympic rowing title.
The victory by about a foot, with a breathtaking late burst, denied Britain a third gold medal of the Games and a win for brothers Peter and Richard Chambers from Northern Ireland. Britain finished second with Denmark in third.
Denmark led the race from the start before South Africa and Britain pulled level. In a final sprint for the line in front of 25,000 roaring fans, the South Africans just got their timing right before collapsing in their boat and looking to the big screens to see whether they had won.
South Africa triumphed in a time of six minutes 02:84, with Britain a quarter of a second back. Denmark were a further 0.07 of a second behind the British.
US storm to flagship women's eight title
The United States also powered to gold in the women's eight rowing final, holding off fierce rivals Canada to win the flagship event and maintain their stunning six-year winning streak.
The American boat took a lead of a third of a length by 500 metres over the Canadians and the Netherlands before extending that as they powered down Dorney Lake, holding on to win by about two thirds of a length.
Canada finished in second with the Netherlands in third. The American women's cox punched the air with delight as her crew fell back into their boat with exhaustion.