World champion Kiwi rowers Juliette Haigh and Rebecca Scown insist they're happy with their bronze medals in the women's pair today.
Haigh and Scown began the rowing season as favourites to win gold, but leading up to the Olympics, they'd been dominated by Britons Helen Glover and Heather Stanning. That form held true today, with Glover and Stanning stamping their class at Eton Dorney to win gold, while fast-finishing Australians Kate Hornsey and Sarah Tait collected the silver.
The US crew of Sara Hendershot and Sarah Zelenka also almost ran down the Kiwis in the thrilling conclusion to the race, but the pair held on to claim bronze by 0.20s.
"It was touch and go," Scown told ONE News. "I didn't know what had happened as we went across the line, so we were just waiting to see if we had done enough and fortunately it was."
The girls have promised to celebrate New Zealand's second medal of the Olympics in style tonight and maintain they're happy with the result, despite winning the last two world titles.
This is Haigh's third Olympic Games, but the first time she has hit the podium and she insists a bronze medal is nothing to be scoffed at.
"We know the Olympics is a step up, and the pressure and everything lifts at the Olympics, so we're really happy with this medal," Haigh said.
In her first Olympic Games, Scown agrees.
"The Olympics is the pinnacle," she said. "The world champs is amazing to get those medals, but to come away from the Olympics with a medal, I mean, we feel really good about it.
"We're really satisfied with our effort today."
Their bronze medal should be just the start of a medal rush for the New Zealand rowing team at Elton Dorney over the coming days. Hamish Bond and Eric Murray continued their dominance of the men's pair event with another imposing performance to qualify as top seed for Friday's final, while single sculler Mahe Drysdale also won his semifinal.
"The men's pair [Bond and Murray] are really strong, and there's Mahe and some of the other guys are looking pretty good, so I'm sure we'll do well," Haigh said.
Only time will tell.