Rio Olympics 2016: Great Britain eight win historic medal

Great Britain's women's eight won their first Olympic medal, taking silver in the rowing behind the United States.

The crew of Katie Greves, Melanie Wilson, Frances Houghton, Polly Swann, Jessica Eddie, Olivia Carnegie-Brown, Karen Bennett and Zoe Lee held off Romania on the line.

Great Britain were last at the halfway point but moved through the field in the second 1,000 metres.

The US, heavy favourites, retained the gold they won in both 2008 and 2012.

Like Britain, the US were behind Canada at the halfway point, but their superior power saw them surge ahead in the second half, taking victory in six minutes, 1.49 seconds.

The American boat has now won 11 successive world or Olympic titles and matches the achievement of Romania, who were Olympic champions in 1996, 2000 and 2004.

For Great Britain, urged on by cox Zoe de Toledo, a first Olympic medal comes after a fourth-placed finish at the 2015 World Championships.

"At 500m to go I thought we were going to win," Swann told BBC Sport. "I believed with every stroke we had what it took. It does not take away from this silver, it is incredible.

"These girls are strong, sassy, inspirational and I am so proud of them."

Before the Games there was some speculation that the British eight, the European champions, could have been joined by Katherine Grainger and Vicky Thornley when their double scull boat was dissolved.

However, the existing team went on to win World Cup silver behind the US and each member out-performed Grainger and Thornley at unofficial trials.

That led Grainger and Thornley to revive their double sculls boat - the silver they won on Thursday making Grainger Great Britain's most decorated female Olympian - with the eight then creating their own piece of history.

They were more than two seconds behind the US, holding off Romania by only 0.12 seconds.

"We have worked so hard to get here," said Eddie. "But it is not just for us it is for everyone who has rowed in the women's eight in the last 20 years.

"They have tried to do this and we have done this for them."

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