It all went so wrong just when they needed it to go right.
Seconds away from the finish line and in position for a podium finish, Team GB’s rowers experienced major steering problems, completely losing control and narrowly escaping an embarrassing clash with the Italians.
Australia claimed the gold and Great Britain appeared on track to at least win silver before disaster struck.
Great Britain dig deep to seal men's eight bronze as New Zealand take gold
“I don’t know what to say,” Gillian Lindsay said on Eurosport commentary.
“Completely, they (Australia) were awesome. They were fearless, they knew how tough the race was going to be and who to look out for.
“They took the race by the scruff of the neck from the very first stroke. They were just relentless, it was their time and they ran away with it. Nobody could catch them up.
But my goodness, Great Britain, some serious questions will be asked.
“What on earth happened in the last 200m? Well actually, the last 15 strokes. I mean, what is going on? Has the steering gone all together, is it equipment failure, is the bow pulling the boat round?
“This is the sort of thing you’d see at a local regatta, not the Olympic games in the final with a medal at stake.
Oh my goodness, my heart goes out to the British four. That will take a long time to get over.
Team GB women’s fours were in a final of their own ahead of the men’s, but finished on the wrong side of Ireland after an entertaining battle, coming in fourth.
Fourth was also the fate of both of Team GB’s men’s and women’s quadruple sculls.
Helen Glover and Polly Swann are back in action this morning as they battle it out in the women’s pairs semi final from 4:20am.
Even more medals on Terrific Tuesday - Team GB wrap for Day 4
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