Rio 2016 bronze medallists CAPSIZE in the men’s lightweight double sculls semi-final with 500 metres to go at the Tokyo Olympics… with Norway duo having to be rescued by lifeguards!
Norway saw hopes of landing a medal in the men’s lightweight double sculls bizarrely dashed after their rowers spectacularly capsized into the Tokyo waters.
Kristoffer Brun and Are Weierholt Strandli took bronze at the Rio Games five years ago and looked to be on course to reach the competition’s final as they headed towards the last 500 meters in the first of the semi-finals.
Having expertly navigated the first 1500 meters, TV cameras captured the pair all of a sudden tipping into the water on their left despite battling to stay afloat briefly.
Kristoffer Brun and Are Weierholt Strandli of Norway hold on to their capsized boat after falling in with just 500 meters to go in the first men’s lightweight double sculls semi-final
The duo were bronze medallists in Rio five years ago and had hoped to medal again in Tokyo
Brun and Strandli, looking exhausted, held on to their boat floating on the surface before they were helped out by lifeguards coming to their aid on a rescue boat.
The pair though were determined to complete the race and eventually got back into their boat to complete the semi-final.
Clocking a time of 12:16.25 – it was eventually double that of semi-final winners Germany who qualified for tomorrow’s final for the medals comfortably along with Uruguay and the Czech Republic.
But their hopes were dashed when they capsized 1500 meters into the semi-final
Strandli of Norway sits in a rescue boat cutting a dejected figure after the incident
Ireland though will head into the final as favourites after setting a new world record in the second semi-final.
The pair of Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan set a time of 6:05.33 to break the record set by South Africa seven years ago in Amsterdam by three hundredths of a second.
Italy and Belgium were also among the qualifiers for the final.
Norway capsizing comes just hours after another bizarre late race incident saw Britain’s coxless four nearly steer their boat into Italy’s in the final of their competition.
The pair though eventually returned to the boat in an effort to still complete the race
Of the errant steering, team member Matt Rossiter said: ‘We fully biffed into the Italians. They are pretty p****d 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.’
Meanwhile, a tearful Oliver Cook took responsibility for their steering woes.
‘I do (have the steering),’ he said. ‘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.
‘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.’