Germans stop mid-race to gift Aussies surprise medal

2 months ago 18
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Australia's women's quad sculls have snuck into the medals in the dying stages of their final this morning, after a crucial mistake from one of their opponents.

After coming through the repechage rounds to reach the final, the team of Ria Thompson, Rowena Meredith, Harriet Hudson and Caitlin Cronin looked like they would have to settle for a gallant fourth.

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But in the final minute of the race, the German team that had been comfortably second throughout the contest, abruptly stopped, allowing Poland to leapfrog them to second and the Aussies to sneak onto the podium, behind a dominant Chinese team that broke the world record.

Australia's quad sculls with their bronze medals. (Getty)

It was revealed that one of the German rowers 'caught a crab', a rowing term that refers to making a stroke in which the oar either misses the water or digs too deeply, causing the rower to fall backwards.

The Aussie team had finished fourth in their initial heat on Friday, forcing them into a repechage round on Sunday where they needed to finish in the top two to qualify for the final.

After they won that, they were viewed as an outside medal chance - but they stepped up in the final, producing a time more than 14 seconds faster than their effort in the heats.

It was Australia's fourth medal in four events in a highly-successful morning of rowing.

The women's and men's fours each took gold in their respective events, before the men's quad sculls also snagged a bronze.

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