1. ITV Report

Men's eight in thrilling rowing race with Bedford cox

The bronze-medal-winning British men's rowing eight including cox Phelan Hill from Bedford (bottom centre) Photo: Stephen Pond/PA Wire

The British men's rowing eight took a bronze medal at the Olympics with a brave performance, which saw them take on a German crew that is unbeaten in four years.

It was only their third race together in this line-up after 20-year-old stroke man Constantine Louloudis returned to the boat, having missed the World Cup series through injury. The cox was Phelan Hill, 33, from Bedford and one of the crew was Cambridge University rower Tom Ransley 26.

Britain trailed by only half a canvas at the 1000 metre mark and they gave triple world champions Germany one of their toughest tests of the last Olympiad.

But Germany began to pull clear in the final quarter of the race and, eventually, the British crew were pipped for silver by 2008 Olympic champions Canada.

The Great Britain men's rowing eight following their bronze-medal-winning race at Eton Dorney, Buckinghamshire Credit: Natacha Pisarenko/AP/Press Association Images

Greg Searle, the 40-year-old who won a gold in Barcelona 20 years ago and came out of retirement three years ago to race in London, thought GB could take gold when they hit the front three-quarters of the way through the race.

"Yeah, I did," Searle told BBC1. "I had an amazing rush of adrenaline when Phelan [Hill, cox] said we were in the lead, that he was sitting level with the German strokeman, and I thought, 'This really could come true'.

"We raced hard from the start. The crowd was just amazing, they were so loud, but I could still focus on rowing.

"But we didn't have anything left and I guess they came back in the last bit."

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