Rio 2016 bronze medalists KAPSIZE in the lightweight men’s double sculls semi-final with 500 meters to go at the Tokyo Olympics… where the Norwegian duo must be rescued by lifeguards!
Norway saw hopes of landing a medal in the men’s lightweight double sculls shattered bizarrely after their rowers spectacularly capsized in Tokyo waters.
Kristoffer Brun and Are Weierholt Strandli took bronze at the Rio Games five years ago and appeared to be on track to reach the final of the competition as they headed for the last 500 meters in the first of the semi-finals.
After skillfully navigating the first 1,500 feet, TV cameras captured the pair suddenly falling into the water to their left, despite a brief struggle to keep their heads above water.
Norway’s Kristoffer Brun and Are Weierholt Strandli hold their capsized boat after falling just 500m to go in the first men’s lightweight double sculls semifinal
The duo were bronze medalists in Rio five years ago and hoped to medal again in Tokyo
Brun and Strandli looked exhausted and held onto their boat which floated on the surface before being helped by lifeguards who came to their rescue on a lifeboat.
However, the pair were determined to complete the race and eventually got back in their boat to complete the semi-finals.
In the end, with a time of 12:16.25, it was double that of the semi-final winners Germany who comfortably qualified for tomorrow’s final for the medals, along with Uruguay and the Czech Republic.
But their hopes were crushed when they capsized 1500 meters in the semi-finals
Strandli from Norway is in a lifeboat and cuts a dejected figure after the incident
However, Ireland will advance to the final as the favorites after setting a new world record in the second semi-final.
The duo Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan set a time of 6.05.33, breaking South Africa’s record seven years ago in Amsterdam by three hundredths of a second.
Italy and Belgium were also among the qualifiers for the final.
Norway’s capsizing comes just hours after another bizarre incident late in the race almost sent the British four without a steering wheel into Italy in the final of their competition.
However, the pair eventually returned to the boat in an attempt to finish the race anyway
Speaking of the mishandling, team member Matt Rossiter said: “We went all in on the Italians. They’re pretty crazy because maybe we cost them the silver and sorry for those guys.
“It’s an outdoor sport and things like this happen. It’s just heartbreaking when it’s you and not something on YouTube.”
Meanwhile, a tearful Oliver Cook took responsibility for their steering problems.
“I have (have the controls),” he said. “I need to diagnose but I feel like I messed up a bit and when I got closer at the end and took big shots at the end as I went to the line I forgot the steering and that cost us to to be honest, cost us a medal.
“All I can say is thank you to everyone who stayed up to watch tonight and I’m really sorry we don’t come back with something.”