July 30, 2021

By Amy Tennery

TOKYO (Reuters) – Four-time Olympian Emma Twigg of New Zealand and Greece’s Stefanos Ntouskos raced Olympic best times to win the women’s and men’s single sculls golds, respectively, on Friday, as the final day of rowing got off to a roaring start at Tokyo’s Sea Forest Waterway.

Twigg, who had tried but failed to reach the Olympic podium in her previous three attempts, seized the lead by the 500-metre mark and pulled away from the pack to win in 7:13.97 by a 3.42-second margin.

Russian Olympic Committee’s Hanna Prakatsen and Austria’s Magdalena Lobnig picked up silver and bronze, respectively.

Ntouskos, who had finished 11th at the 2019 World Championships, upset a stacked field to clinch the men’s event in 6:40.45, taking the lead at the midway point and holding on through the final stretch, as silver medallist Kjetil Borch of Norway and third place finisher Damir Martin of Croatia failed to match his power.

It was Canada, however, who produced the biggest shock of the day, picking up gold in the women’s eight to end the United States’ run of dominance in the event.

The Canadians had command of the lead at the midway point and never let up, winning in 5:59.13, with New Zealand picking up the silver and China claiming the bronze. The Americans, who had won gold in the event at the previous three Games, finished fourth.

(Reporting by Amy Tennery in Tokyo; Editing by Stephen Coates & Shri Navaratnam)