Canada win blue-riband men's eights

Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:35am EDT
 
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By Kate Holton

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)

 
<p>(L-R) Kevin Light, Ben Rutledge, Andrew Byrnes, Jake Wetzel, Malcolm Howard, Dominic Seiterle, Adam Kreek, Kyle Hamilton and coxswain Brian Price of Canada celebrate after winning the men's eight rowing competition at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games at Shunyi Rowing-Canoeing Park August 17, 2008. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne</p>