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BEIJING (Reuters) - Canada held on to take victory in the blue riband men's Olympic eight on Lake Shunyi on Sunday, seeing off a final charge from Britain and the United States to earn redemption for their Athens fiasco.
Canada finished fifth in 2004 despite entering as double world champions and favorites, and their coach, Mike Spracklen, told Reuters that many of the crew had returned to Beijing to make up for that result.
In a thrilling finale to the Olympic regatta, Canada flew off the start and had a lead of a canvas in the early stages of the race and had almost a length lead by half way.
Britain, who won the event in Sydney, closed in on the leaders in the latter stages of the race but left it too late. They took silver and Athens champions the United States took third.
The Canadian crew punched the air in delight while their cox threw himself into the arms of the strokeman sat opposite him.
Australia, who had six-times Olympian James Tomkins on board, finished outside the medals.
Editing by Alex Richardson