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In the final of the women’s pair, Great Britain’s world and Olympic record holders Helen Glover and Heather Stanning defended their crown with a dominant win having led their nearest challengers by nearly four seconds at one point. Although New Zealand’s Genevieve Behrent and Rebecca Scown made a late push to edge out the Danish pairing in the last 500m, it was not enough to topple the near-invincible British duo.
In the men’s lightweight double sculls, France’s Jeremie Azou and Pierre Houin won their country’s first rowing gold since Athens 2004. Having burst into an early lead, France were pushed hard in the second half of the race. Finishing in 6:30.70, they ended up just 0.53 seconds ahead of the Irish pairing, who won their country’s first ever rowing medal, while the Norwegian duo were just 0.69 seconds behind.
In the women’s race, 2016 European champions Ilse Paulis and Maaike Head of the Netherlands produced a late burst to claim gold ahead of Canada and China. "I can't believe what happened today, all week and all year really,” said Head afterwards.
“It’s the purest form of happiness,” added Canadian silver medallist Lindsay Jennerich. “This was 12 years in the making.”
Brennan almost missed out on the final all together having finished 14th in the heat rankings, just scraping a place in the quarter-finals. Unsurprisingly, the Australian was delighted to finally win gold, not least to bring an end to her Olympian husband Scott’s bragging rights, after he took double sculls gold at Beijing 2008.
“I've imagined this so many times,” she said. “So much work has gone into this over the past 11 years and I've had so much support from my coach and team-mates. My husband has a gold medal so now we're even!”