Lightweight four take British silver

02 August 2012 / 14:54

Great Britain's lightweight men's four rowing crew won a silver medal after being pipped to the line by new Olympic champions South Africa in a sensational final.

In a thrilling sprint for the line, the British crew of Richard and Peter Chambers, Rob Williams and Chris Bartley edged 2008 champions Denmark into bronze.

Britain have now won three medals at the Olympic rowing regatta following Wednesday's gold for Helen Glover and Heather Stanning and bronze for the men's eight.

New Zealand's Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan took gold in the men's double sculls, with the British crew finishing in fifth.

World champions Cohen and Sullivan won in six minutes 31.67 seconds ahead of Italy and the Slovenian crew who were looking to reclaim the Olympic title they won 12 years ago in Sydney.

Britain's Bill Lucas and Sam Townsend made a promising start, leading the field after 250 metres, and they were in medal contention heading into the second half of the race.

But New Zealand and Italy produced strong finishes to overhaul Slovenia and row Britain out of the medals.

The United States retained their Olympic title in the women's eight to continue their dominance of the event, while Great Britain trailed home in fifth.

The USA, five-time world champions and unbeaten since 2006, beat Canada into silver with the Netherlands taking bronze.

Britain were bronze medallists at the world championships in 2011 but they have struggled to recapture that form this week, although a strong finish took them ahead of Australia.