New Zealand men's eight Olympic champions for first time since 1972

Source: 1News

The men's eight have wrapped up a stunning rowing campaign from New Zealand with a gold in their final at the Tokyo Olympics this afternoon.

TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 24: (L-R) Thomas Mackintosh, Hamish Bond, Tom Murray, Michael Brake, Daniel Williamson, Phillip Wilson, Shaun Kirkham and Matt MacDonald of Team New Zealand compete during the Men's Eight Heat 2 on day one of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Sea Forest Waterway on July 24, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

The team is made up of Shaun Kirkham, Tom Mackintosh, Michael Brake, Matt MacDonald, Tom Murray, Phillip Wilson, Hamish Bond & Daniel Williamson as well as coxswain Sam Bosworth.

It is New Zealand's first gold in the men's eight since the historic run by the crew at the 1972 Olympics in Munich.

It caps off a glorious hour of racing for New Zealand, with Emma Twigg winning gold in the women's single sculls, and the women's eight winning silver.

New Zealand won two other medals in rowing at Tokyo with Kerri Gowler and Grace Prendergast taking gold in the women's pair and Brooke Donoghue and Hannah Osborne taking silver in the women's double sculls.

The result also sees Bond become a three-time Olympic gold medallist having previously won gold in the men's pair at the 2012 and 2016 Games alongside Eric Murray.

The Kiwi boat got off to a decent start, sitting third at the 500m mark just 0.45 seconds off leaders Germany.

The New Zealand men were hanging close with the Germans over the next 500 metres and so too was Great Britain.

However, it was the Kiwi men who had the strongest second leg, pushing ahead to take a tiny 0.07 second lead at the halfway mark over Great Britain.

It remained neck-and-neck for the third leg with New Zealand, Great Britain and Germany tussling for the lead.

The world-renowned third 500m from the Kiwis started to shine through though, as New Zealand pushed ahead to hold a 1.31 seconds with 500m to go.

Germany looked to turn on the afterburners to chase the Kiwis down but could only pull back 0.4 seconds over the final leg, leaving the Kiwis to take gold.

Germany claimed silver while Great Britain held on for third.

WATCH THE OLYMPICS: TVNZ 1 and TVNZ OnDemand feature 12 hours of free-to-air action focussed on Kiwi athletes each afternoon and evening, while Sky TV has Olympics coverage across 12 channels and streaming platforms.