Rowers Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler have won New Zealand’s first Olympic gold medal in Tokyo.
The women’s pair final was won by Prendergast and Gowler, who finished ahead of the Russian Olympic Committee and Canada.
The Kiwis trailed the Canadians for the first 1000 metres, but quickly passed them and then held on to beat the Russians.
Their winning time was three seconds slower than the world record time they set in the semi-finals.
Gowler told Sky she was unsure they had won whe they crossed the line.
“We crossed and I was like ‘was someone ahead of us?’…I was just so focused on us. So I was just like did we do it? But honestly I just can’t believe it.”
Prendergast and Gowler have dominated the class in recent years, winning world titles in 2017 and 2019.
It is New Zealand’s second medal in the rowing in Tokyo after Brooke Donoghue and Hannah Osborne were second in the double sculls yesterday.
Prendergast and Gowler will now back up for the New Zealand women’s eight in their final tomorrow.
— The New Zealand Team (@TheNZTeam) July 29, 2021
It’s the 12th gold medal for New Zealand in Olympic rowing history – the country’s most successful sport.
It’s the fourth Olympic medal in the women’s pair, after Seoul 1988 (bronze), London 2012 (bronze) and Rio 2016 (silver).