A heavily-favored Olympic rowing team almost crashed, failed to win gold, then attacked former winners in a chaotic race
- Team GB's unparalleled run of success in Olympic rowing ended in spectacular fashion Wednesday.
- The men's coxless four almost crashed into another team, failed to win gold, and then attacked its predecessors.
- After missing out on a medal, one rower said his predecessors would be "really smug" to see them fail.
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Heavy favorites Team GB suffered an embarrassing day on the water during the men's coxless four rowing event at the Tokyo Olympics, almost crashing, failing to win gold for the first time in two decades, and then attacking former athletes.
Team GB was favorite for the event having won five gold medals in succession, a run dating back to 2000, but the dominance could hardly have come to a more chaotic end.
As the teams approached the finish line, the Brits were level with Italy in second behind leaders Australia, but soon Team GB began veering off to the left.
With Great Britain and Italy no more than a few feet away from each other, the Brits straightened but the damage was already done. The team knocked itself out of medal contention and also allowed Romania to overtake Italy and take silver.
Team member Matthew Rossiter said the Italians were "pretty pissed off."
"We fully biffed into the Italians. They are pretty pissed off because maybe we cost them the silver and sorry to those guys.
"It's an outdoor sport and this stuff happens. It's just heartbreaking when it's you and not something on YouTube." Rossiter said before taking a swipe at his predecessors.
The 31-year-old suggested some former GB rowers would be "really smug" to see the team fail, the latest bit of antagonism between the current team and former winners.
"It's just disappointing that those people will probably be really smug now that they are part of the legacy that won," Rossiter said.Rossiter did not name any names, but it is likely he was referring to James Cracknell, who won gold in Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004, and has been highly critical of the current team.
"Someone in the British crew blew up. The only way your steering goes like that is when somebody totally runs out of juice," Cracknell said after the race, per the Daily Telegraph.
GB rowing has also been heavily criticized by former athletes for allowing the departure of long-time head coach Jürgen Gröbler, who coached every British Olympic team from 1992 to 2016. Gröbler left Team GB just 11 months before the games.
"You do not allow Grobler to stand down a year before a delayed Olympic Games," Garry Herbert, who won gold in 1992, said, per the Telegraph.
While GB's rowers were unhappy with ex-athletes, the team was remorseful about its failures on the day.
"I do ( the steering). I need to diagnose it but I feel I screwed up a bit and as I was closing in at the end and taking big strokes at the end going for the line. I forgot the steering and that's what cost us to be honest, cost us a medal," team member Oliver Cook said.
"All I can say is thank you to everyone who stayed up to watch tonight and I'm really sorry we're not coming back with something."Read the original article on Insider