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America’s Best Olympic Team Wins Gold Again

August 13, 2016

Rowing - Olympics: Day 8Rowing - Olympics: Day 8
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 13: Gold medalists United States stands on the podium for the national anthem at the medal ceremony for the Women's Eight on Day 8 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Lagoa Stadium on August 13, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)Buda Mendes Getty Images

America’s women’s eight rowing team extended its unprecedented dominance in the water, winning a third straight Olympic gold medal on Saturday at Rio’s Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon. Great Britain finished second, more than 2 seconds behind the U.S. boat, which finished the 2000-m race in 6 minutes, 1.49 seconds. Romania, the 2004 Olympic champ and last country besides the U.S. to win Olympic gold, finished third.

The team has now won 11 straight world and Olympic titles: that’s every major global championship for 11 years running. The Cold War-era Soviet Union hockey team won 14 straight world titles from 1963-1976. No other national team run, really, is comparable.

Though the rowing lagoon has been beset by pollution problems, the setting on Saturday was picturesque. The Christ the Redeemer statue looked over the start. The US trailed by half a second at the mid-way mark, sitting third. Over the next 500 meters, however, the U.S. kicked into gear, securing the lead.

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Meghan Musnicki, 33, and Elle Logan 29, won their second straight golds, as they both raced in London. The rest of the team features Olympic rookies: Amanda Elmore, 25, Amanda Polk, 30, Tessa Gobbo, 25, Kerry Simmonds, 27, Emily Regan, 28, Lauren Schmetterling, 28, and the coxswain, Katelin Synder, 28.

In women’s sculls, American Gevvie Stone won silver. In men’s single sculls, Mahe Drysdale of New Zealand won a photo finish over Croatia’s Martin Damir, taking gold by 5-thousandths of a second. Great Britain’s men’s eight rowing team took gold later Saturday morning, with the U.S. team coming in fourth.

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