New Zealand have their first gold medal of the Olympics after Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan won the men's double sculls final at Eton Dorney tonight.
It was the kind of performance that would have had plenty of New Zealanders screaming at their television sets as the traditionally slow starters left their run until late to add an Olympic gold to their consecutive World Championship titles.
They were last to pass the first split, fifth at the halfway point and still had three boats to pass and a 2.47 second time difference to make up over the final 500 metres.
In the end they did it comfortably to beat the Italian combination of Alessio Sartori and Romano Battisti by 1.13sec, with Slovenians Luka Spik and Iztok Cop, the 2000 Olympic champions and 2004 silver medallists, taking bronze.
"We didn't expect this, everything came together today, the last 500 was where they paid and we benefited" Sullivan said immediately after the race.
Cohen admitted it wouldn't have been the easiest race to watch, but was ecstatic with the result.
"Better to win ugly than not at all," he said.
"(It's) Unreal so many years of work...crossing that line first is all we ever dreamed of."
Earlier Storm Uru and Peter Taylor progressed to the final of the lightweight men's double sculls at the Olympic rowing regatta.
With three crews progressing to the medal race on Saturday, Uru and Taylor finished second in their semi-final at Eton Dorney.
The New Zealanders, the 2009 world champions, were lying fourth over the first half of the contest, but improved to second at the midway stage and stayed there for the rest of the journey.
They finished 3.46sec behind the winning Danish combination of Mads Rasmussen and Rasmus Quist, also former world champions and bronze medallists at the last Olympics.
The Danes clocked 6min 33.25sec, while Germany was the other crew to qualify.
The other semi-final was won by defending Olympic champions Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter of Britain in 6:36.62, ahead of France and Portugal.
Earlier, New Zealand missed out on qualifying for the finals of the men's four and the lightweight women's double sculls.
With three crews going through, the men's four of Tyson Williams, Jade Uru, Sean O'Neill and Chris Harris came fourth in their semi-final.
The women's lightweight doubles sculls team of Louise Ayling and Julia Edward were fifth in their race.