Australian kayak pair Tom Green and Jean van der Westhuyzen have surprised with a thrilling finish to win gold and make it sweet 16 for the nation at the Olympics.
The 22-year-olds had never competed internationally together before but they followed up their Olympic record in the heats by winning the final from German world champions Max Hoff and Jacob Schopf in Tokyo on Thursday.
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Green and van der Westhuyzen started the K2 1000m race on fire as they took a boat-length lead at the halfway mark.
However, Germany battled back and took over the lead with just 200m left.
But in a performance labelled as 'gutsy', Green and van der Westhuyzen edged in front of Germany to claim gold.
It marks Australia's first gold in the 85-year history of the event, topping the Rio bronze won by triple medallist Ken Wallace and Lachlan Tame.
Fans went wild over a thrilling race as the Australians crossed in three minutes 15.280 seconds, just 0.304 clear of Germany.
They've done it... they have actually done it! 🥇
Never doubted them to be honest! 🇦🇺 🔥
Congratulations Thomas Green and Jean van der Westhuyzen 👏@Optus | #Optus5G#itstartswithyes #Tokyo2020 pic.twitter.com/n936ikrOtS
— 7Olympics (@7olympics) August 5, 2021
— ESPN Australia & NZ (@ESPNAusNZ) August 5, 2021
Gold in the Kayak!
That's brightened the day.
— Richard Willingham (@rwillingham) August 5, 2021
The Australian pair of Jean van der Westhuyzen and Thomas Green has won the gold medal in the men’s 1000 metres kayak double event at the Tokyo Olympics @abcnews
— David Taylor (@DaveTaylorNews) August 5, 2021
— Franc Vescio (@bomberfranc) August 5, 2021
Brilliant race in the 1000m Kayak Double. Gold to Australia 🥇 #Olympics
— COOPS 😎 (@sportandracing) August 5, 2021
what a gold in the kayak. wow
— Jacoby (@adamajacoby) August 5, 2021
GOLDDDDDDD! 🥇 Jeez that was a well executed race from the Kayak boys. #Tokyo2020
— Tim Rosen (@timrosen35) August 5, 2021
Kayak Gold AUSSIES. I was yelling at the telly the last 200m. #Tokyo2020
— Callum Bennett (@CallumBennett28) August 5, 2021
— MΛSΞY (@masey) August 5, 2021
— Fiona Bateman (@feebateman) August 5, 2021
Great win by Australia in the kayak doubles and how good is Matt Hill’s commentary! Makes the kayaking as exciting as the Melbourne Cup! @Racing
— Lachlan McArthur (@LachlanMcArthur) August 5, 2021
— oneeyedcardinal_ (@oneeyedtiger_) August 5, 2021
— amanda lulham (@amandalulham) August 5, 2021
It's Australia's first gold in the event, topping the Rio bronze won by triple medallist Ken Wallace and Lachlan Tame.
Only recently emerged from junior ranks and with international racing curtailed for the past two years by COVID-19, they said after that race they weren't sure how they would stack up.
The pair are based in Queensland, with Cape Town-born van der Westhuyzen moving from South Africa to Australia in 2018 to pursue his sprint canoe career.
Amazing day for Australia at the Olympics
Thursday was an incredible day for the Aussies in Tokyo.
Only minutes after Green and van der Westhuyzen's gutsy gold, skateboarder Keegan Palmer grabbed gold in the park event after a remarkable first run.
Earlier, Mariafe Artacho Del Solar and Taliqua Clancy advanced to the beach volleyball gold medal match, securing Australia's second medal in the event in Olympics history.
Australia has only ever medalled once in the sport - Natalie Cook and Kerri Pottharst's epic gold at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
But Artacho Del Solar and Clancy have now broken that drought and have guaranteed themselves at least a silver medal.
The Aussies stunned the world in the quarter-finals when they upset the Canadian World No.1 pairing.
And they backed it up on Thursday, beating Latvians Tina Graudina and Anastasija Kravcenoka 23-21, 21-13.
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